Miller “f****** sick” of repeating tyre issues in MotoGP qualifying

Ducati’s Jack Miller is “fucking sick” of his MotoGP qualifying being compromised by issues with Michelin’s soft rear tyre after ending Saturday at the Grand Prix of the Americas 10th.

Miller “f****** sick” of repeating tyre issues in MotoGP qualifying

Miller monstered the field in FP3 on Saturday morning by over six tenths, putting him in a firm favourite slot to take pole for the first time this season. 

Having topped FP4 with a 2m04.028s on a hard rear tyre, Miller could barely improve on this by three tenths on his best Q2 lap on a fresh soft.

Setting a 2m03.720s on his first tyre – which he suggested was already problematic – he was a second slower on the second fresh soft he used at the end of Q2, and could do no more than 10th while Ducati team-mate Francesco Bagnaia scorched to a third-straight pole. 

Miller’s Saturday’s on a number of occasions have been hampered by dodgy rear tyres - while many others have been affected in both qualifying and races this season - and though he wouldn’t explicitly blame the problem on Michelin’s rubber, his anger was thinly veiled. 

“I have a hard tyre on in FP4, I can do two tenths off the lap time I put down in qualifying, and I can do a 2m02.9s in FP3,” Miller said when asked to explain his Q2 slump.

“So, I don’t know. It wasn’t through a lack of trying, I can tell you that. We know [it’s a repeating issue].”

When asked by Autosport why this seems to be affecting him more than anyone else in 2021, he added: “Like you said, it’s happened a few times and I can tell you one thing I’m getting fucking sick of it.

“But anyway, we go forwards, hopefully it doesn’t happen tomorrow. 

“I’m trying my best, keeping calm, trying to do my job, working for the race. What’s in my control I’m trying to do the best I can.”

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

He later said: “Even though I want to, it’s not something we will comment on at this point.

“It’s just I wasn’t able to do what I was able to do, and that’s about it.

“I treated both runs equally, completely equal. I ran out of time on the last run, I would have tried to get one more lap at least to try and tidy something up. 

“But didn’t have time, but apart from that as soon as I went on track I tried to push my maximum and it didn’t work.”

Michelin stated after qualifying that its initial analysis showed Miller’s out-lap was 20s slower than normal on his second run, which may have partly caused his issues.

"There was one complaint after Q2, but based on the immediately available data we note that there was a 20-second slower out-lap than normal for the 2nd run, so any perceived lack of performance could be attributed to the subsequent reduction in tyre temperature and pressure (which we need to confirm later after detailed data analysis) for the single time attack lap,” Michelin said.

"In addition, the biggest contribution to the lap time appeared to be the loss of 8-tenths of a second in sector 2. Run 1 was similar to Pecco’s first run in terms of lap times."

Miller’s race pace in the FP4 session was strong, and he has taken solace in the fact that Andrea Dovizioso managed to rise from 13th on the grid in 2019 to finish fourth.

“It’s not going to be the easiest race, but if you look to what Dovi did a couple of years back here, when we raced last, I think he was in Q1 and was able to come through fourth,” Miller said.

“There were a few crashes and whatnot that day, but I feel like I’ve got good speed, good potential, I feel good on the bike.

“We just need to get away cleanly, which is the most difficult thing back there, especially with the Turn 1 like we have. 

“Then for the rest just try the maximum to get in with those guys at the front and stay there.” 

shares
comments

Related video

MotoGP riders' request to shorten COTA race “not taken seriously” – Petrucci
Previous article

MotoGP riders' request to shorten COTA race “not taken seriously” – Petrucci

Next article

MotoGP Americas Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch & more

MotoGP Americas Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch & more
Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Plus

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Plus

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems Plus

Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Plus

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Plus

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Plus

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022
Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard its MotoGP champion's future Plus

Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard its MotoGP champion's future

Yamaha's decision to dispense pre-season with the 2022 engine it had intended to use due to lack of reliability, the promises of improvement to Fabio Quartararo and the advance with which the rider market moves leaves the Japanese brand with less than six months to prevent the Frenchman from starting to look for a way out

MotoGP
Oct 28, 2022