Jack scores his first MotoGP points at Jerez with yet another top-10 finish.
Jack has kept his outstanding start to 2018 going, taking sixth place in the Spanish Grand Prix at the Jerez Circuit on Sunday afternoon.
Starting the race from 12th after securing direct entry into Q2 on Saturday, Jack elected to run the hard front and rear Michelin tyres to combat the searing Spanish heat, hoping to preserve tyre life for late in the race. He dropped a place on the opening lap, but began to move forward on lap six, gaining another place to 10th when Alex Rins (Suzuki) crashed out.
By halfway through the 25-lap race, Jack had latched onto the back of Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), who was chasing his Alma Pramac Racing teammate Danilo Petrucci for seventh place. The three riders circulated line astern for several laps before a lap 18 crash between factory Ducati pair Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo, along with Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, saw the Petrucci-Rossi-Miller trio suddenly in the mix for a podium, all three riders closing rapidly on the third-placed Suzuki of Andrea Iannone.
With five laps remaining, Jack passed Rossi at the end of the back straight for fifth and set off after Iannone, but Rossi struck back on lap 23, overtaking Jack into the final corner to reclaim fifth place.
Jack would eventually finish 9.7 seconds behind race winner Marc Marquez (Honda) and just 1.5secs off the final podium place won by Iannone, and scored his first points at Jerez at his fourth attempt, finally vanquishing what had become something of a bogey track.
“I was content with my result, very close to the podium,” Jack said.
“I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to fight with those guys at the end, but I had a bad start and I had to really fight to get to them. I think I was 16th or something like that on the first lap and I had to pass many riders to arrive at Petrucci, Valentino and Iannone.
“I was braking really hard in the first sector and when I’d passed Valentino, I was trying to pass Iannone but I was starting to run out of the right-hand side of the front tyre. I had a few moments, and I said ‘OK, this is enough’. My speed wasn’t bad but then Valentino came past, and some experience paid off for him I think! He had a fast last lap. But it was nice to fight with those guys and it was another improvement for us.
“I think we can be happy with nine seconds off the victory after such a bad start.”
With his fourth successive top-10 result this season and seventh in a row overall, Jack retains eighth place in the riders’ championship with 36 points ahead of the next race at Le Mans in two weeks’ time.
Full race results from Spain can be found on motogp.com here.
Photos courtesy of Alma Pramac Racing.