Final sector costly for Miller in Australian GP

Jack Miller finished seventh in the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Image: Russell Colvin

Jack Miller finished seventh in the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Image: Russell Colvin

Jack Miller was left to lament troubles in the final sector of the Phillip Island circuit after he finished seventh in the Australian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull KTM rider ran as high as third in the opening laps at his home MotoGP event, but soon dropped out of contention for victory and instead found himself in a battle towards the back end of the top 10.

According to Miller, he struggled coming out of Turns 11 and 12, the latter of which leads onto the fast Gardner Straight.

“It’s a weird feeling now, being a Saturday, the race is done, but we’ve got to hang around,” said the Queenslander after a Grand Prix race moved forward to Saturday afternoon due to adverse weather forecasts.

“Nonetheless, I felt pretty good with the race. I mean, I would have wanted a little bit more, but that was what we had today.

“I felt reasonably strong, as I’ve done all weekend, through the middle part of the track; Sector 2, Sector 3 felt good.

“Last sector, just especially in race trim, I just was trying to nurse the rear coming out of 11 and 12.

“But, I was lacking a little bit of front-end, just some support, let’s say, and I wasn’t able to let the bike roll through the corner as much as I would like to.

“So, I was kind of slow in the corner and obviously having to be pretty slow on the way out to not smoke the rear tyre.

“I felt good, tyre was in relatively decent condition towards the end of the race, I was able to fight back with the other boys.”

Riders had commented after Friday practice that the final sector was bumpier than before, although whether that explains Miller’s issues is unknown.

In any case, he ended up embroiled in a battle with Marco Bezzecchi, Aleix Espargaro, and Alex Marquez and, ironically, having clear air seemed to be a hindrance this time around.

“Probably did like, 10 [or] 12 laps by myself at the front of that group and started having some serious moments,” recounted ‘Jackass’.

“I don’t know if it was the cooler air or what on the front tyre [but] it started getting pretty sketchy there, especially towards 11 and 12.

“Brad’s [Binder, team-mate] were quite similar in terms of the cold air on your lonesome out front, [but being] in the slip[stream] made a bit of a difference.

“But, all in all, it’s been a positive Phillip Island Grand Prix – the backwards format – and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow, hopefully, in the Sprint race.”

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