Jack has used a brilliant late-race surge and ridden his luck to score a memorable home Grand Prix podium finish, coming third in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
It’s Jack’s fourth podium finish of what has become a breakout season, but by far his most memorable after jumping to third place two corners from the end of the race.
With high winds and rain on Saturday causing qualifying to be delayed until Sunday morning, Jack was disappointed to qualify ninth after being inside the top five for the majority of the four practice sessions.
From the third row, he made a solid start and avoided a second-corner crash that eliminated Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) and Danilo Petrucci (Ducati), and finished the opening lap in seventh place.
Jack was part of a pack that included early leader Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), Aprilia pair Andrea Iannone and Aleix Espargaro, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Suzuki’s Alex Rins for much of the race, with Pramac Ducati teammate Pecco Bagnaia storming through from 15th on the grid to join what looked to be a battle for fourth place after Maverick Vinales (Yamaha), Marc Marquez (Honda) and Cal Crutchlow (Honda) escaped at the front from lap 11 onwards.
Utilising a medium front/hard rear tyre combination, Jack made his decisive move on lap 21 of 27, demoting Dovizioso to claim fifth.
He then passed teammate Bagnaia for fourth with three laps left, and inherited third in the shadows of the chequered flag when Vinales, who had led for the majority of the race, crashed at Turn 10 trying to repass Marquez for the lead.
Marquez took his 11th win of the season by 11.413secs from Crutchlow, with Jack finishing 3.086secs behind the Briton to claim third, just 0.055secs ahead of Bagnaia.
Jack’s win sparked jubilant scenes in front of a delirious home crowd of 34,900, as he became the first Australian to take a podium finish at their home Grand Prix in the premier class since Casey Stoner won for Honda in 2012.
“It’s not a win, but it feels like it a little bit,” a jubilant Jack said afterwards. “I managed the race and tried not to push too early like I’ve done in the past, and I got to fourth and I thought that would be the best I could do. “To my surprise on the last lap I saw dust, and I saw Maverick down. I defended the last two corners, and here we are.”
Jack’s fourth podium of the year – all third places in Austin, Brno, Aragon and now Australia – sees him retain eighth place in the riders’ standings with 141 points, and he’s now just 12 points behind Rossi for seventh with two races remaining in Malaysia and Valencia, the next GP coming at Sepang in seven days’ time.