Miller stoked to end five-month drought

Joan Mir, Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller on the Portimao podium

Jack Miller has spoken of his relief at finally collecting a fourth podium of the 2021 MotoGP season.

The #43 rider had established himself as a genuine title contender during a four-race run earlier in the season where he won at Jerez and Le Mans and then finished third at Catalunya.

He had not returned to the rostrum since that June 6 race, though, as Francesco Bagnaia took the clear intra-team upper hand at the factory Ducati squad.

That nine-race period, which included three DNFs, had seen pressure mount on Miller, who is under contract for 2022.

Converting a front-row start into a third place finish at the Algarve Grand Prix overnight therefore represented a welcome result.

“It’s nice to finally be back on the podium, even though it was a little strange to end the race with a red flag,” said Miller, with reference to the race-ending crash between Iker Lecuona and Miguel Oliveira.

Miller’s trophy didn’t come easy, facing sustained pressure from an impressive Alex Marquez.

The LCR Honda Castrol rider snatched third on Lap 12, Miller only regaining the position nine laps later, having launched an unsuccessful attempt shortly before.

“I was ready for a big battle on the last lap with Alex Marquez, who was really close,” he added.

“But I’m thrilled. We have worked well all weekend, and in the last GP, we were able to be competitive in all sessions, just missing the result on Sunday. Finally, we were able to reap the benefits of our hard work today.

“I’m happy Ducati won the manufacturers’ title. We have a fantastic bike, perhaps the strongest on the grid.

“Now we go to Valencia and try to close out this season in the best possible way.”

Miller is now fourth in the riders’ championship, having edged ahead of Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco.

With its double Portimao podium and Monster Energy Yamaha failing to score, the Ducati Lenovo Team has now moved into the lead of the teams’ championship with a 28-point buffer.

Valencia will host the MotoGP season finale across November 12-14.

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