Pramac Ducati rider Jack Miller joked that he nearly needed binoculars to see Marc Marquez such was the Spaniard’s lead after half a lap, as the Aussie secured his third podium of 2019 in Aragon.
Starting from the head of the second row, Miller immediately found himself in third position off the line and after half a lap found himself moving into second place behind Marquez. Unfortunately for Miller, Marquez was already a second clear and pulling further ahead by the corner.
“I got a pretty decent start, got in behind Fabio for the first two sectors and Fabio was a little cautious, not too bad, but a little cautious on the first couple of corners,” said Miller.
“I knew I had to get past him quickly if I wanted to get fast, but I nearly needed binoculars by the time I got past him at turn twelve, Marc was that far gone already. I pushed for about three corners and thought ‘nah, see ya mate’.
“Tried to just ride around by myself. I knew the pace; I did a seventeen-lap run in FP4 with him. I knew my pace what it needed to be, so I just stuck to the numbers.”
Miller said that he noticed that Vinales was using a lot of his rear tyre, leaving his vulnerable to a late attack.
“When Maverick came past, I noticed he was spinning quite a bit, especially where he passed me and in a few other places. So, I just stayed patient, pushed where I knew I could push. I just tried to manage the tyre.
“I started getting a little nervous when Dovi came past, but I could see on the TV at the exit of turn seven where we were in the group and how much of a gap we had. So, I just tried to stay as patient as possible, once he got past Maverick, I knew I had to pounce because Maverick’s left side of the rear tyre was completely gone, and I was able to do that.
“Really happy to be back up here, it’s an awesome was to start the flyway’s now.”
Miller now sits only five points behind Fabio Quartararo in the independent rider standings. He admitted that finishing ahead of the Frenchman is his primary target for the remaining five races.
“My main target is to be top independent; Fabio is making me work for it this year. But we are doing a good job, were coming to some good tracks now, with Thailand, Japan and especially Phillip island, I’m looking forward to getting there and seeing what we can do,” he said.
“We’re just going to focus on doing what we can. We were top Ducati most of the weekend, this weekend, so I feel I am doing a good job. Dovi did an amazing race to come back from where he was in the grid and just trying to keep doing the same next week and the week after.”
Andrea Dovizioso caught and passed Miller with a little over five laps remaining. Miller admitted that following his Ducati stablemate helped him in the closing stages.
“He was a little tighter in some corners and getting better acceleration, whereas typical me I was going in far too fast, running wide and opening maybe a little early,” said Miller.
“Once he came past, I understood what I needed to do, especially at the top of the hill in turn five-six. He was really hugging the curb, getting a lot more grip coming out and having to use a whole lot less torque and a lot less meters.”