Jack’s third straight top-eight finish sees him cap off his best MotoGP season yet in Spain.
Jack has signed off on his 2017 season and his tenure with the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS MotoGP team in style, riding a strong race to seventh place at the final round of the year in Valencia on Sunday.
The result saw him earn nine world championship points to finish the season with 82 points in all, his best single-season haul to date, and ensured he’d finish 11th overall in the standings, just two points behind Tech 3 Yamaha’s Jonas Folger in 10th.
Jack qualified 12th after earning direct entry into Q2 for the third race in succession, and gained three places on the first lap, one of which came when Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista crashed out. Bautista’s fall meant Jack, provided he finished the race, would leapfrog the Spaniard in the world standings.
With all eyes at the front of the field and the championship battle between Marc Marquez (Honda) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), Jack settled into a fight for sixth place with Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone and Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, with Iannone’s teammate Alex Rins joining the fray later in the race. Iannone led the way until the halfway mark of the 30-lap race, Jack passing him on lap 14 to rise to seventh.
Jack was bumped back to ninth place with eight laps to go before drama unfolded ahead of him, Marquez running wide at Turn 1 after passing Yamaha’s Johann Zarco for the lead but managing to stay on, and then Ducati pair Jorge Lorenzo and Dovizioso crashing in separate incidents on lap 25, ensuring Marquez would win his fourth MotoGP title, and promoting Jack two places to seventh with six laps to go.
He stayed there to record his third successive finish inside the top eight to close the season, a hugely meritorious effort since breaking his right leg in September and undergoing surgery just to finish the season. Jack finished 17.087secs behind race-winner Dani Pedrosa (Honda) in his final race for the Japanese manufacturer before his move to Pramac Ducati for 2018.
“It was a great race for me and perhaps could have been better because I lost a lot of time in the final two laps,” Jack said.
“I had to give up the fight with Valentino because I had a couple of front-end moments with my front tyre grip going down towards the end. I felt I could have fought with Rossi and Iannone right to the end otherwise. It has been a good finish to the season with three top 10s including two seventh places, so no better way to end my time with this great team.”
With the season now over, Jack will taste Ducati machinery for the first time in the two-day post-race Valencia test, which commences on Tuesday November 14.
Full race results from Valencia can be found on motogp.com here.
Photos courtesy of Marc VDS.