Stall on grid leaves Jack in a battle for the points in Buriram.
Jack’s hope of an 11th top-10 finish of his breakthrough 2019 season was stopped cold in the south-east Asian heat, the Australian recovering to finish 14th after stalling on the grid at the start of Sunday’s Thai Grand Prix.
From sixth on the grid after being a permanent fixture inside the top five right through practice, Jack’s race unravelled before the lights went out at Buriram, stalling from the outside of the second row and hastily pushing his bike into pit lane, where it was restarted for him to join the race five corners behind the rest of the field for the 26-lap race.
Jack finished lap one 13 seconds adrift of KTM’s Hafizh Syahrin, the second-last rider in the field, and spent the rest of the race trying to make amends. He gained a place on lap four when Mika Kallio crashed, and another on lap 18 when Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro retired. Otherwise, it was a series of overtakes that put Jack within touching distance of the points, passing Syahrin on lap seven, Jorge Lorenzo (Honda) and Karel Abraham (Ducati) on lap eight, and former teammate Tito Rabat (Ducati) to end lap 14 in 17th place.
Jack gained a sniff of the points when Espargaro retired four laps later, and he entered them on the third-last lap when he overtook Miguel Oliveira’s KTM, advancing to 14th when he overtook Andrea Iannone’s Aprilia on the penultimate lap.
Jack finished 39.736secs behind race-winner Marc Marquez (Honda), who emerged victorious from a race-long duel with Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) to claim his ninth win of the season, and with it, his sixth MotoGP world title.
“It was my fault,” Jack said of his start to the race.
“There’s no excuse. I inadvertently turned off the bike and was forced to enter the pit lane. It’s a shame because we had done a great job over the weekend and we had the race pace to stay in the top five.”
With 119 points, Jack retains eighth in the world championship standings ahead of the next race, at Motegi in Japan on Sunday October 20.
Full race results from Thailand can be found on motogp.com here.
Photos courtesy of Pramac Racing.