MotoGP Phillip Island: ‘That’s the card we were dealt today but it’s not over!’ - Miller

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Jack Miller’s hopes of a home MotoGP victory came to an abrupt end on Sunday at the corner named after the Australian just 24 hours before.

A misjudged move by LCR’s Alex Marquez just nine laps in resulted in the Ducati being shunted from behind and out of the race before he even knew what hit him. Something he was all too aware off after the race.

“I feel like I’ve been run over by a motorcycle that’s for certain!” Miller said on Sunday afternoon. “I got jammed between his front tyre and the tank so the family jewel area is not feeling too great, back’s a bit stiff and the rest, but I’ll be right in a couple of days. We don’t really have too much turn around, but I’ll be right come Malaysia.

“It’s unfortunate what happened, I couldn’t really do nothing in that situation,” he continued. “Race was going good, felt good, the bike is working really well. We made some changes overnight and I was really happy with how the bike was behaving, especially in the wind. Was able to come through relatively quick, felt good. Understood Pecco [Bagnaia] kinda didn’t want me in front of him so I was like ‘Alright, I’ll take stock, fourth place, we can settle down’. I just swapped the map, thought ‘we’ll settle down here and let the laps tick over and hopefully start to wind it on towards the end of the race’. But pretty much as soon as I swapped the map, entry of turn four, mid corner and yeah, just got slammed. There’s not much I could do about it.

“He said he had a big lock,” Miller explained on Marquez’ apology. “I understand, he was trying to pass Marini but yeah, he just might of lost sight of where the corner was or whatever.

“It is what it is, you can’t really do too much about these things, this is racing sometimes. That’s the beauty of this sport, can be all looking so well and then it can change like that. A tough pill to swallow but that’s the card we were dealt today.

“These things can happen, I understand that. I except the apology. There’s nothing more to really say. Mistakes can happen. We’re all human and when you’re there, fighting at the front like he was, you’re gonna take a few extra risks. Unfortunately today I was the innocent bystander.

“It’s been an awesome weekend,” the local hero said of his first home GP in three years. “It’s been fantastic to be back. Gutted we couldn’t do a little bit more for the Aussie fans today but wasn’t through lack of trying. We’ll be back again next year at least and hopefully we can have redemption.

“Happy for the team, with Pecco now leading the championship, but gutted for myself. Today was a day we could have scored some decent points.”

The Australian is now 54 behind teammate Pecco Bagnaia with 50 left in play, so while his title challenge may be over, the fight behind is just getting started.

“It’s not over,” he affirmed with his sights now firmly set on third in the standings. “We’ll keep plugging away at this thing. We’ve got two races left, Aleix [Espargaro is where he is, Enea [Bastianini] is where he is in the championship so we can still try to catch those guys down. I mean, it’s a long shot, but that’s the goal.”

Picture: GeeBee Images