Difficult race ends difficult weekend, despite steps in right direction
After a troubled weekend caused by a replacement (2012) chassis and associated setup and ECU problems, the race of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas itself was showing slightly positive signs, with John up to 18th from P28 by lap 11, chasing Jasper Iwema who high-sided at T16-18 complex causing the race to be red-flagged.
Up to that point Alex Rins (Monlau KTM) and second placed Maverick Vinales (Laglisse KTM) were the class of the field at that point lapping two seconds a lap or more faster than Luis Salom (Ajo KTM) in third. After the red flag a fresh five lap race was declared, using the grid positions established in qualifying.
Rins claimed the win ahead of Vinales and Salom, while John’s RTG team-mate Jack Miller who was up to 7th in race 1, finished the second in 6th (+8.603). In that final 5 lap dash, John managed to make it through from 28th to finish 21st (+23.267). His race pace showed some improvement on what free practice and qualifying promised but was still some way off that of the front runners.
John said: “The team made big changes to the bike for the race – which was a step in the right direction. It was tough starting from 28th but I managed to get into 18th before the red flag for Jasper’s accident.
My race re-start was not so good, and I got run off track and dropped off the group. I made up some ground, but with only 5 laps was impossible to pass really.”