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
Load comments
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Plus

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Plus

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Autosport’s pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021