Miller ‘training like I’m losing’

Jack Miller

Back-to-back MotoGP race winner Jack Miller says he is “training like I’m losing rather than winning” as he aims to continue his hot streak.

The Ducati rider took a first dry weather premier class victory in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez at the start of the month and then also prevailed in a flag-to-flag affair in France.

Miller is now fourth in the championship at 16 points behind pace-setter Fabio Quartararo, a stark contrast to his position two rounds earlier.

He left Portugal only 12th in the standings having crashed out at Portimao, after finishing ninth in each of the two encounters in Qatar due to grip problems and then arm pump.

The Queenslander, who underwent surgery for the arm pump issue, gave some insight into his turnaround in his latest post-race column.

“What’s changed since it was all going so bad the first few races?” he wrote.

“My confidence now is up for sure, and it’s just momentum, keeping the ball rolling. Generally, in my career I get stronger the longer the season goes on, so that’s what happening here.

“I’m not worrying about my arm, and one thing I did after Jerez was keep up my training like I’m losing rather than winning … so let’s not change a formula that’s working.”

Miller’s first MotoGP win came at a wet Dutch TT in 2016, while the latest race at Le Mans was run in conditions which changed from dry to wet and back.

In comparing his three victories, the 26-year-old explained that the constant adjustment required in France was mentally draining.

“I’ve now won a completely wet race in Assen 2016, a completely dry one at Jerez last time, and now a flag-to-flag one here,” he noted.

“Any win in MotoGP feels fantastic but flag-to-flag… I don’t want to say it’s the most stressful because Jerez was pretty stressful, being at the front and being chased down, but this feels different.

“You don’t feel physically exhausted, but I think I speak for all the riders in that you feel a little bit mentally exhausted because of the focus it takes, and the feeling of trying to predict what conditions you’ll find at the next corner, corner after corner, lap after lap. It’s a more mentally draining way to win.

“Flag-to-flag is a cool element of our sport and it’s not that enjoyable at the time because of the stress, but it’s better than red-flagging a race every time it rains and sitting around waiting to get started again.”

Miller’s contract has been the subject of speculation in Italy since the Le Mans race, with the suggestion that Ducati will confirm an extension in the lead-up to the upcoming Italian Grand Prix.

Armed with one of the ‘Bologna bullets’, #43 should be a contender for another victory given Mugello’s long front straight.

“I’d be stoked just to be on the podium in the next race at Mugello for Ducati – this is the best Ducati I’ve ridden, for sure,” he added.

“For me they’re the hardest-working manufacturer there is, so I’m proud to bring these results back to them.”

The Italian Grand Prix will be held on May 28-30.

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