Jack has form – if not history – on his side as MotoGP makes its annual stop at one of the best circuits on the calendar.
Race: Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley
Round: 6 of 18
Date/time: Sunday June 4, 2pm local (10pm AEST)
Circuit: Mugello: 15 corners, clockwise
Distance/laps: 5.2km, 23 laps
2016 podium: Lorenzo-Marquez-Iannone
Jack’s world championship results at Mugello
2016 (MotoGP): qualified 17th, did not finish
2015 (MotoGP): qualified 23rd, did not finish
2014 (Moto3): qualified 2nd, did not finish
2013 (Moto3): qualified 4th, finished 10th
2012 (Moto3): qualified 25th, finished 21st
Preview: Mugello is typically a celebration of all that’s great about MotoGP – a fast, spectacular circuit in the picturesque Tuscan hills, with the banks around the track teeming with fans, mostly clad in yellow to support their hero, Valentino Rossi. But this year’s Italian Grand Prix will be a more sombre affair after the road accident that tragically claimed the life of 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden last week. Four bikes from Hayden’s career – a Honda from his world championship year, a Ducati from his five years with the team, an Aspar Honda from his final two full-time seasons and his Honda World Superbike – will lead an on-track tribute to the popular American, whose last MotoGP race came in Australia as an injury replacement for Dani Pedrosa last year. For Jack, Mugello is a track he loves with recent results he’s hated – last year he was involved in a three-bike crash at the first corner of the race with Alvaro Bautista and Loris Baz, while in 2015, he crashed out at the final corner after two laps when riding for LCR Honda. On a more positive note, Jack comes to Mugello with four finishes in five races this season, all of them inside the top 10.
Jack says: “As soon as I got home from Le Mans I had a scan on the hand and the knee just to make sure there was nothing broken, and since then I’ve been working with the physiotherapist to reduce the swelling in both. I’ve been doing a lot of cycling this week, but I also managed to get out on the supermotard and had no problems with the hand or the knee, so it’s looking good for the weekend. Mugello is one of those special circuits on the calendar and like a lot of other riders I really enjoy racing there. With the long straights it’s a bit of a horsepower track, but it’s also one that demands a lot of confidence in the front, and we’ve made big steps in this area since the start of the season. This means we should be able to make up in the corners and in the fast changes of direction what we lose down the straights, so I’m confident another top-10 finish is a realistic goal for us this weekend.”
Hot spot: What isn’t hot at arguably the best circuit on the calendar? Keep an eye on the crest at the top of the start-finish straight before the first corner, San Donato. The head-on lap one TV images of the field charging into the first corner over the rise is arguably the best image of the year.
Mugello fast fact: Spanish riders have won in Rossi’s backyard for the past seven years, while Jorge Lorenzo has been either first or second at Mugello every year since 2009, including five wins in the past six years. The omens aren’t good for the new Ducati rider though; Casey Stoner (2009) is the only Ducati rider to win at the factory’s home circuit since it came into the world championship in 1991.
Jack in the world championship: 10th with 29 points.
Check back with jackmiller.com.au on Monday June 5 for a report of Jack’s race.
Photos courtesy of Marc VDS.