Jack’s final race in 2017 and for Honda comes at Valencia, where he’s setting his sights high.
Race: Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana
Round: 18 of 18
Date/time: Sunday November 12, 2pm local (12am AEDT Monday November 13)
Circuit: Circuit Ricardo Tormo: 14 corners, anti-clockwise
Distance/laps: 4km, 30 laps
2016 podium: Lorenzo-Marquez-Iannone
Jack’s world championship results in Valencia
2016 (MotoGP): qualified 15th, finished 15th
2015 (MotoGP): qualified 20th, finished 21st
2014 (Moto3): qualified 2nd, finished 1st
2013 (Moto3): qualified 5th, did not finish
2012 (Moto3): qualified 25th, did not finish
2011 (125cc): qualified 12th, did not finish
Preview: It’s the final race of the season, and while most eyes in Valencia will be on the two-horse race for this year’s championship between Honda’s Marc Marquez and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, there’s plenty of incentive for Jack further back in the pack to achieve his pre-season aim of finishing in the top 10 overall. It’s a long shot, but better than no shot at all; with 73 points to his name, Jack would need a season-best fifth place to overhaul Tech 3 Yamaha’s Jonas Folger (who’ll miss Valencia with illness) for 10th in the standings, notwithstanding what Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista (75 points) can do at his home Grand Prix. Jack’s results at Valencia have been mostly modest, save for his win from second on the grid in his final Moto3 race there in 2014 as he tried in vain to close down the gap to Alex Marquez for the entry-level crown. Last year, he finished 55 seconds behind race-winner Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) in 15th place for the final world championship point on offer. Valencia is Jack’s final race with the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team before his move to Pramac Ducati for next season.
Jack says: “Finishing 10th in the championship is a big ask, but anything is possible as they say! At least the weather looks good. I like the Valencia circuit, which is one of the few left-hand circuits we race at during the season, and I’m feeling good on the bike after the flyaway races, so let’s see how we go. Obviously I want to finish out the season strong and mark my last race with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS with a good result on Sunday.”
Hot spot: Turn 2 (Mick Doohan corner) in the opening laps can be fraught with several different lines available that all lead to the same apex, while Turn 13 can be spectacular all race long, the riders on full lean and full gas as they hurtle towards Turn 14, the final corner of the track that sets up the run down the only real straight of note at 876 metres.
Valencia fast fact: Watch for all three world championship class winners be invited to light celebratory fireworks on their slow-down lap, which fires the typically enormous crowds up even more – last year’s race-day attendance alone was 110,000 people.
Jack in the world championship: 12th with 73 points.
Check back with jackmiller.com.au on Monday November 13 for a report of Jack’s race.
Photos courtesy of Marc VDS.