Jack takes his first dry-weather MotoGP podium with a composed ride at COTA.
Jack has taken an outstanding second career MotoGP podium, with an assured ride to third place in the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin on Sunday afternoon.
Jack finished 8.4secs behind race-winner Alex Rins (Suzuki), who beat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi by four-tenths of a second for his first victory in the premier class.
From fourth on the grid, Jack elected to use a soft front/rear tyre combination and held his position into the first corner, with pole-sitter Marc Marquez (Honda) running away to a strong early advantage ahead of Rossi, Cal Crutchlow (Honda) and Jack’s Ducati.
Crutchlow crashed at the Turn 11 hairpin on lap six, promoting Jack into the podium places, and the race was turned on its head three laps later, when Rins, who had started from seventh on the grid, demoted Jack to fourth at the same corner. Seconds later, Marquez crashed out of a commanding lead at the end of the back straight, breaking his run of six straight wins at the Circuit of the Americas.
Jack began to struggle with tyre life from the middle part of the race, with Rossi and Rins escaping to fight a one-on-one battle for the victory, which was settled in the Spaniard’s favour on lap 17 of 20.
Jack conserved his pace in the latter stages, but his early-race speed meant he had time in hand to control the run to the flag, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso finishing just under one second behind him for fourth.
“I got pretty excited and lost my voice again,” Jack grinned afterwards.
“Amazing. It was a strong weekend all around from myself and the team, we’ve been chipping away and today we got pretty lucky. I chose the soft front (tyre) which probably wasn’t the right choice, I had a big mark on the right-hand side and I was a sitting duck at the end. I saw I had a buffer to ‘Dovi’ and I just tried to manage it. It’s been a long time, that’s for sure.”
— MotoGP™ 🇺🇸 (@MotoGP) April 14, 2019
It’s Jack’s first-ever dry-weather MotoGP podium, and second visit to the rostrum in all after his famous Assen 2016 win in the wet riding for Honda. After he finished fourth in Argentina in the previous race, the result in Austin means Jack has finished inside the top six in consecutive races for just the second time in his 69-race MotoGP career (Spain/France 2018 was the other instance).
With 29 points, Jack moves up to sixth place in the championship ahead of the next race, the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez in three weeks’ time.
Full race results from USA can be found on motogp.com here.
Photos courtesy of Pramac Racing.