Miller thought hard front tyre was a ‘masterstroke’

Jack Miller consoles Francesco Bagnaia after both crashed out of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Jack Miller thought that opting for Michelin’s hard front tyre would be a masterstroke before he crashed out of second position in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Only the Queenslander and Ducati team-mate Francesco Bagnaia went for such an option, but both would suffer front-end wash-outs at Turn 15 at Misano.

Miller looked to be holding back to help the Italian’s championship bid when he dropped his bike on Lap 4, and Bagnaia was still leading the race when he had his spill on Lap 23 of 27.

According to the former, they had made their rubber choice independently, and were brought unstuck by the cool conditions.

“All weekend, when it was wet, when it was dry, when it was half-and-half… speed wasn’t the problem,” wrote Miller in his post-round newsletter.

“We went with the hard front/medium rear tyres, both me and Pecco, and we were the only ones to do that.

“I went down on Lap 4, and Pecco did the same at the same corner four laps from the end when he was in the lead. It’s a tough one to take from first and second on the grid.

“Pecco and I both came to the decision to run the hard front independently of each other. I made my decision late in the morning that I was going that way, and we went left-field and initially it looked like a bit of a masterstroke.

“But in the end, it wasn’t really warm enough for that tyre once the clouds came in; it was probably borderline.

“Our plan was always to go with the hard tyre; we have quite a bit of front locking on the brakes with the medium, so that was what we were trying to avoid.

“We tried to shoot for the fences [ie go for a ‘home run’] and we had great pace at the beginning, but it just wasn’t to be.

“It’s just one of those days you just want to forget, really.”

Bagnaia trailed Fabio Quartararo by 52 points before the race and therefore had to finish ahead of the Frenchman to have any hope of keeping the championship fight alive.

That contest is now over, while Miller faces an even tougher task of trying to nab a top three in the standings.

Not only did he fail to make up any of the 26-point deficit to Suzuki’s Joan Mir, who was also a DNF due to an early clash with Tech3 KTM’s Danilo Petrucci, he slipped to three points behind Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco.

There are just two rounds left in 2021, the next being the Algarve Grand Prix at Portimao on November 5-7.

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