Pramac Ducati MotoGP man Jack Miller called the Czech Grand Prix in Brno ‘a tricky old race’ as the Australian rider secured his second MotoGP podium of 2019.
Starting from the middle of the front row, Miller got a good start, however quickly found himself before pole sitter Marc Marquez and Andera Dovizioso. It wasn’t long before Ecstar Factory Suzuki rider Alex Rins also found his way past, leaving Miller needing to regroup.
The Ducati man did so, staying with the front three, biding his time before a move on the penultimate lap past Rins helped him secure his second podium of 2019 and just over three seconds behind the race winner.
“Just looking at the paper now, 3.4 to Marc, we can be happy about that,” said Miller.
“It was a tricky old race, I hadn’t used the hard all weekend, but I had some graining this morning with the medium so I knew I had to use the hard, it was my only option.
“To be honest probably about eight laps to go, I had a good moment up at turn five and nearly went down, and almost gave up the chase on Rins. But I had been watching him the whole race and I felt really comfortable in behind Dovi and Marc.
“Then when Rins came past I noticed that he was spinning quite a bit more and I knew how mine felt so his couldn’t have been very flash either and it just got worse and worse. For example, up the last hill, I could see maybe five laps I go I could see him spinning all the way into the braking zone, and I was gaining a lot. So, I just waited it out, I think.
“I just passed him into turn one because he lost so much drive on the front straight, but typical Rins on that Suzuki, he’s able to hold such a tight line. I’ve raced with him quite a bit, so I tried to stop it pretty sharply and follow the curb the whole way around. But sure, enough mid corner I heard ‘BRAP’ and it was a Suzuki accelerating towards the side of me, so I stood her up and waited to the next straight and boosted past him and tried to get it done as quick as possible. I knew once I got in front of him, I was able to gap him as he was in some trouble with the tyres.
“It was a crazy old race as none of us have done race distance on any of the tyres. We have been in and out of dry and wet conditions.
“I have to say thank you to the Dorna and IRTA staff for the decision before the start of the race. Because were all racers and were all going with the slicks as 95% of the track is dry, but I did not feel safe sitting on the front row of the grid with 24 bikes behind me going in with slicks on with this much water, it would’ve been like ten-pin bowling, so thanks to those guys.”
Saturday’s mixed conditions somewhat helped Miller in qualifying, however the Aussie had been strong in the dry free practice conditions on Friday. When asked if a podium in the first race back from the summer break could help his confidence going into the second half of 2019, he said: “It’s great to be back.
“It was nice to have the three-weekend break over the summer break. Just to be able to go home. I was able to get back to Australia just to relax and switch off a little bit, go fishing. And I think that sort of helped refresh the batteries and come at the second part of the season with a different angle.
“Starting on the podium is really nice, so hopefully we can try and keep this roiling onto Austria.
“As the boys said we have a test tomorrow and hopefully we have some items to test because there’s still some small things we need to fix with the bike for sure. We’ve just come off two really difficult tracks for us, so there’s still a lot more work to be done.”