Miller: Losing Styria MotoGP podium to crash “really stung”

Ducati’s Jack Miller says his late crash in Sunday’s MotoGP Styrian Grand Prix “really stung” because he “had a podium in the pocket” at that point.

Miller: Losing Styria MotoGP podium to crash “really stung”

The Australian didn’t make a great start to last Sunday’s Styrian GP but was given a second chance when it was red-flagged on lap three for the fiery crash between Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo Savadori.

Miller made a much better launch at the restart, taking the lead for the first four laps before slipping down to the battle for third with Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo.

Catching Quartararo in the latter stages, Miller crashed out at the Turn 7 left-hander on lap 18 to register his second-successive DNF and third of the 2021 season.

This has potentially fatally damaged his championship hopes as he is now 72 points adrift of Quartararo at the top of the standings.

“The second race felt good, everything was ok,” Miller said.

“I was struggling a bit with the grip on the right-hand side edge from the beginning, but I felt really good on the front and I was able to push as I like.

“I set to do my pace, I was doing well.

“Fabio came past, pulled a little bit and then he was starting to drop and I was starting to come back towards him.

“But it was just difficult, I was struggling on the edge. So, I had to try and get as close as I could to him to be able to make the pass on the straight from the sacrifice I was having to give on the exit.

“We’ll have to wait and see the data, but everything felt normal, I felt good in sector three and completely asked a little bit too much of the front and it completely disappeared on me.

“It really, really hurt that one, stung, because I essentially had a podium in the pocket.

“But I threw it away. So, very disappointed in myself, sorry for the team and we’ll try to regroup, regather, and try to come back next weekend.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Team-mate Francesco Bagnaia led the original start to the race but struggled with the rear of his bike at the restart, with the Ducati rider crossing the line 10th but demoted to 11th for a track limits penalty.

Many riders had tyres issues at the restart, but Bagnaia wouldn’t say if his problem was down to a dodgy rear tyre.

“Sincerely, I don’t know,” Bagnaia said when asked what happened to his form in the second race.

“First part of the race I was very strong, my feeling was incredible all the weekend.

“At the restart, the rear of my bike was not working from the start, but already when I entered on track I felt very soon that the rear was not working like the first one.

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“Sometimes this thing can happen and I’m not happy about that, but this is something that we have to understand.

“It’s not correct to say that the rear tyre was not working because we don’t know, but the thing is in the first part of the first race I was very strong and everything was working like all the weekend.

“In the second part of the race nothing was working like it did all weekend.

“The only thing that was working better was the hard front, so I don’t know.”

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