Mixed feelings for Miller after ‘stupid mistake’
Jack Miller is somewhat upbeat despite a ‘stupid mistake’ which cost him a shot at a strong result at Misano after starting second.
Miller, in his Red Bull column, noted that his personal-best dry weather qualifying performance and impressive race pace on a damaged Pramac Ducati were reasons to be positive.
The Australian had held his starting position out of the first corner of the race despite a big deep braking manoeuvre by Marc Marquez before being picked off by eventual race winner Andrea Dovizioso towards the end of the lap.
He lost another position when Marquez dived down his inside at Turn 14 on Lap 2, forcing Miller to pick up his Desmosedici GP17.
Disaster struck at the same corner a lap later when Miller crashed out of fourth position.
He remounted and went on to finish the 27-lap race in 18th position, one behind Jorge Lorenzo after the pole-sitter went down while running second on the penultimate lap.
“I’m not going to lie, I’m massively disappointed in myself. (It was) Completely my mistake,” the 23-year-old wrote.
“But I can’t get too low after this one, and there’s a lot of reasons for me to be optimistic. It wasn’t that long ago that being optimistic was the last thing I was thinking about,” he added in reference to his ‘stressful’ form slump prior to Silverstone a fortnight earlier.
“I came 18th in Austria too in my last race before Sunday’s at Misano (we got rained out at Silverstone), but there’s finishing 18th, and finishing 18th. Same result but they’re not the same thing, nowhere close.
“Austria, we were lost, I couldn’t make the tyres last, I’d qualified nowhere, it wasn’t a surprise. (San Marino) was a bad surprise I didn’t want, but they’re not the same weekend.
“Here we had pace, it was consistent, I felt good, the bike was great and there was nothing fluky or lucky about qualifying on the front row… I just made a stupid mistake at the worst possible time.”
Miller explained that he pushed a little too hard trying to keep pace with this year’s big three of then-leader Lorenzo, Dovizioso, and Marquez.
However, his pace on a scarred, previous-specification Ducati was a positive.
“I felt like I was losing a little bit too much in drive and speed, and I guess I was working the tyre too hard in the corner,” he recounted.
“And down she went – bottomed out in the middle of Turn 14, tucked the front, and that was that.
“(But) You have to look at the positives. When I picked the bike up, it had no windscreen because it was smashed, and the handlebar was bent, and still my fastest lap of the race was only about a tenth (of a second) slower than (Valentino) Rossi with a bike that was clearly pretty damaged after a crash.
“The whole weekend was strong so this is a minor hiccup, and no more than that. It won’t take much to bounce back from this.”
Miller is 13th in the championship, having dropped one position with the non-points finish, ahead of the Aragon MotoGP on September 21-23.