Miller says Ducati MotoGP team initially gave him Lorenzo sub role

Jack Miller says he had agreed to be Jorge Lorenzo's replacement in the factory Ducati MotoGP team for Phillip Island, but lost the chance after Motegi crashes

Miller says Ducati MotoGP team initially gave him Lorenzo sub role

Lorenzo has been sidelined from a string of MotoGP races by injuries sustained at Buriram earlier this month.

Australian Miller reckons he was in line to move up from Ducati satellite team Pramac to the works squad for his home grand prix as Lorenzo's stand-in.

But he said the decision was reversed after both he and Andrea Dovizioso crashed out of the Japanese GP, which led to Ducati wanting to focus on the independent teams' title.

That meant Miller was forced to stay on his Pramac bike for Phillip Island, while Alvaro Bautista was promoted from the Angel Nieto squad.

"After feeling a bit flat on Sunday after the Japan race, I arrived at the Island still thinking about a chance to ride something different for my home race that didn't quite happen," Miller wrote in a column for Red Bull.

"When we were in Japan last weekend, Jorge pulled out with injury and was ruled out for the Island as well, so it looked like I may have an opportunity to have a ride of the factory bike alongside Dovi at my home GP.

"Before the race at Motegi, that was the plan we'd decided on with Ducati.

"But then it all went pear-shaped on Sunday in Japan for me; I crashed out of the race, and when Dovi fell off and didn't score any points, Ducati were more keen to me to stay on my usual bike for Australia so we could try to keep the lead in the independent teams' championship with Alma Pramac Racing, because the manufacturers' championship for Ducati was more or less out of reach after no points in Japan.

"They put Bautista on Jorge's bike for the Island instead, so it probably wasn't much of a surprise that I was a bit disappointed after Motegi when the plans changed and I'd ended up on my bum in the gravel and stuffed my own race."

A promotion to the factory bike would have been a dream scenario for both Miller and Australian GP organisers, given the wave of momentum the event rode during Casey Stoner's six consecutive wins between 2007 and 2012.

"I got over it quickly enough, but you had to wonder what it would have been like," Miller added.

"Aussies on red factory Ducatis tend to go alright at Phillip Island, don't they?

"Anyway, there's no point looking backwards, just now looking forward to getting my hands on the factory bike starting at Valencia in the last test of the year."

Bautista finished the Phillip Island race just behind Dovizioso in fourth, with Miller briefly leading before finishing seventh.

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Jorge Lorenzo , Jack Miller
Teams Ducati Team , AB Motoracing
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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