It’s the first race of the new season – and Jack’s first for Pramac Ducati.

Race: Grand Prix of Qatar
Round: 1 of 19
Date/time: Sunday March 18, 7pm local (3am AEDT Monday March 19)
Circuit: Losail International Circuit: 16 corners, clockwise
Distance/laps: 5.4km, 22 laps
2017 podium: Vinales-Dovizioso-Rossi

Jack’s world championship results in Qatar
2017 (MotoGP): qualified 16th, finished 8th

2016 (MotoGP): qualified 18th, finished 14th
2015 (MotoGP):
qualified 22nd, did not finish

2014 (Moto3): qualified 3rd, finished 1st
2013 (Moto3): qualified 21st, finished 16th
2012 (Moto3): qualified 26th, finished 25th

Jack’s preview: After a strong pre-season testing campaign in Malaysia, Thailand and Qatar where he finished inside the top 10 on the timesheets on all but one day, Jack makes his Ducati debut in Doha high on confidence and with plenty of optimism for a strong result. It was here three years ago that his MotoGP journey began with a DNF, and he’s edged closer to the front since, scoring points for the Marc VDS Honda outfit in his first race for the team in 2016, and improving on that with a strong eighth a year ago. Qatar will hold few mysteries for Jack and the rest of the field after the three-day test held at Losail earlier this month, while one aspect of the weekend that will be different in 2018 is that the race start time has been brought forward two hours to 7pm, with MotoGP the only one of the three world championship classes to race completely at night. Last year’s Qatar GP was delayed 45 minutes after rain fell following the Moto2 race, which pushed the race later into the night, when plummeting track temperatures and dew can make the surface treacherous, especially on worn tyres. Jack, along with teammate Danilo Petrucci, unveiled his new colours for 2018 at Alma Pramac Racing’s launch in Bologna on Monday.

Jack’s Qatar highlight: It has to be 2014, his first world championship win in the Moto3 class, and the memorable post-race interview and reaction to the Australian national anthem on the podium that followed …

Jack says: “I am happy to be here. The countdown is now finally over. This is the week of the first Grand Prix and I am excited and very motivated to start the season. We have made a very good job with the team so far, and I can’t wait to fly to Qatar and do my best. I have great expectations in this new adventure with Alma Pramac Racing.”

Check back with on Monday March 19 for a report of Jack’s race.

Photos courtesy of Gold and Goose/Red Bull Content Pool and Alma Pramac Racing.