Jack has had some strong performances at Le Mans, and wants to cast aside the DNF disappointment of Jerez last time out.
Race: SHARK Helmets Grand Prix de France
Round: 5 of 19
Date/time: Sunday May 19, 2pm local (10pm AEDT)
Circuit: Le Mans (Bugatti Circuit): 14 corners, clockwise
Distance/laps: 4.2km, 27 laps
2018 podium: Marquez-Petrucci-Rossi
Jack’s world championship results at Le Mans
2018 (MotoGP): qualified 7th, finished 4th
2017 (MotoGP): qualified 11th, finished 8th
2016 (MotoGP): qualified 18th, did not finish
2015 (MotoGP): qualified 18th, did not finish
2014 (Moto3): qualified 2nd, finished 1st
2013 (Moto3): qualified 6th, finished 12th
2012 (Moto3): qualified 22nd, did not finish
Jack’s preview: Two weeks is a long time to wait when your last race ends in disappointment and the gravel two laps from home as it did for Jack last time out in Spain, but MotoGP’s annual trip to Le Mans should fill him with plenty of confidence, especially after he secured what was, at the time, his best dry-weather result with fourth place at the Bugatti Circuit this time 12 months ago. Jack finished less than a second behind Valentino Rossi for the final spot on the podium last May, which came after a convincing third-row start on the Ducati GP17. Armed with the current-spec ’19 machine this time around and with top-four finishes in both races this year where he’s seen the chequered flag, Jack has every reason to be confident at a track where he’s tasted victory before, a Moto3 win in 2014 that came after a manic battle for a top spot, and came with some impromptu breakdancing in front of the applauding fans afterwards … While all eyes will be on French duo Fabio Quartararo, the pole-sitter from Jerez, and Johann Zarco, who took pole for his home GP last year, it’s Spain that has dominated races at the famous Le Mans track for as long as anyone can recall; nine of the past 10 races there have been won by riders from Spain, Australia’s Casey Stoner (Honda, 2011) preventing a decade-long whitewash. Aim one for Jack will be to make it to the end of the 27-lap distance; he’s one of just three riders, Pramac Ducati teammate Pecco Bagnaia and Suzuki rookie Joan Mir being the others, with a paddock-high two DNF’s from the first four Grands Prix, yet he sits just 12 points behind 2018 teammate Danilo Petrucci for a spot in the top five of the world championship standings.
Jack says: “Le Mans is one of my favourite tracks, one where I’ve always done well. It’s always a shame to fall with a few laps to go like I did at Jerez … I’ll be back stronger in France.”
Check back with jackmiller.com.au on Monday May 20 for a report of Jack’s race.
Photos courtesy of Pramac Racing