Lorenzo: Miller’s win ‘good but not great’

Jack Miller. Picture: MotoGP.com

Jorge Lorenzo believes that Jack Miller still needs to improve his consistency despite picking up a career-first dry weather MotoGP victory at Jerez.

Miller’s win in the Spanish Grand Prix was just his second in the premier class, and first for Ducati, almost five years on from his triumph in a wet Dutch TT.

The 26-year-old had looked on for a runner-up finish until pre-race championship leader Fabio Quartararo, who led by as much as 1.5s, faded dramatically due to arm pump.

Miller ultimately led Francesco Bagnaia home for a Ducati Lenovo Team one-two while Quartararo ended up 13th on his Monster Energy Yamaha.

Speaking on his 99 Seconds YouTube show, Lorenzo declared that the Queenslander had to capitalise on the Frenchman’s misfortune.

“[Quartararo’s arm pump was] A great shame but it was a circumstance that Jack Miller took advantage of wonderfully, getting his second victory of his career in MotoGP,” observed the three-time premier class champion.

“He was doing a good race, but not great. If you get handed that win on a plate, you have to take advantage of it, and Miller took advantage of it very well.”

Miller had gone ninth, ninth, and DNF in the first three races of the season, and gave thanks after his victory to Ducati’s heavy-hitters for their belief in him.

Lorenzo congratulated #43 on the turnaround, and suggested that he has the makings of a dominant rider, but needs to be more consistent.

“It is never easy to have come out of a period as difficult as the one Jack was having, with two very disappointing races and the third failing in a very resounding way in Portimao,” added the Spaniard.

“But the truth is that he had a solid weekend with that front row, a great start, overtaking the two riders ahead.

“I know that clearly Fabio was faster than him, but in the end in MotoGP, sometimes these things happen; your rival either crashes or has a problem and you have to be there, first of the followers, to seize this opportunity, and Jack did.

“For me, he still lacks of bit of precision. Without a doubt, he is not the most precise rider on the grid.

“He is very fast and in, some circumstances, he is the best, the strongest rider, but he still lacks a bit of solidity to win, make pole position and win with ease.

“But in the end, a victory in MotoGP is a MotoGP victory, ‘chapeu’ [‘hats off’] for him, congratulations, and I hope that, little by little, he will gain that solidity to win races in a clear and concise way.”

Francesco Bagnaia. Picture: MotoGP.com

Miller’s win puts him sixth in the championship but it is now Bagnaia who leads the title race.

Lorenzo believes that the latter is in fact Ducati’s team leader and, armed with a Desmosedici which is “ready for the world championship title” given its apparently improved handling, a serious chance of adding another title to his 2018 Moto2 crown.

“Bagnaia has instead become the leader of Ducati and the championship,” opined the former Yamaha, Ducati, and Honda factory rider.

“He has an excellent opportunity in front of him because he is riding perhaps the best Ducati ever.

“It can be said that Ducati can now win on any track. It is a complete bike.

“It is true that it doesn’t have the best cornering behaviour yet, but it doesn’t lose too much, and Fabio’s riding style favours that point to lose as little as possible against a Yamaha or a Suzuki.

“The championship is very long, but right now he is in an excellent position to keep pushing and trying to get the championship for the Bologna factory.”

Round 5 is the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, from May 14-16.

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