The 2018 MotoGP™ season had its share of highs and lows for Jack Miller, but the most memorable moment came following a shrewd gamble at the Argentina GP.
With most of the grid opting for wet tyres in qualifying, Miller rolled the dice on slicks as a dry line began to develop at Termas de Rio Hondo.
The gamble paid off, with Miller beating Dani Pedrosa by 0.177s to sensationally take his maiden MotoGP™ pole position.
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) April 7, 2018
“I remembered the race from Moto3™ a few years ago when it was wet and they were all on slicks and they had really good grip, and I know here the wet tyres overheat really quickly,” he said at the time.
“I went out on the wets, did one lap and it was quite a good lap time – I was happy to have one in the bank. Then it was an all-in bet for the slicks.”
While confusion reigned for most riders in the changing conditions, Miller stormed home after the chequered flag to set the fastest time in dramatic fashion.
“For me, once I made my bet I had to stick with it,” Miller said.
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) April 8, 2018
“Through (Turns) 7 and 8 was the worst, it was completely wet, a lot of standing water and was very dangerous. I nearly went down a few times there by just trying to touch the gas a little bit and it just tried to go over on me.”
Miller, who made another brave call to choose slicks for the race, received an unprecedented five-row advantage after a controversial decision by race officials allowed the rest of the field, who were all on wet tyres, to switch.
The 23-year-old lead the race early but was eventually overtaken, dropping behind Cal Crutchlow, Johann Zarco and Alex Rins to finish fourth – his equal best result of the season.
With Miller upgrading to the Ducati GP19 next year, greater success could be on the horizon for the competitive Australian.