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Crash compounds Miller's misery at Misano

Monday, 11 September 2023

Jack Miller had a weekend to forget at the San Marino Grand Prix, the Australian qualifying a season-worst 18th before being taken out of Sunday's race just 10 laps in.

Jack Miller is thankful for the one-day test that follows Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix as he looks to get his season back on track, after a lack of pace and an early-race accident left him sore and scratching his head at Misano.

The coastal Italian track has typically been one where the Australian has showed searing one-lap pace – he was on pole at Misano in 2022 and has five front-row starts at the circuit – but the KTM rider was hanging on in the back-end of the points positions on Sunday before being taken out by Ducati's Michele Pirro on lap 10 of the 27-lap race.


Miller was in 14th place when Pirro clattered into him at Turn 4, which came after Miller repeatedly repelled Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli in the preceding laps.

"I made a little bit of a mistake on the back straight – kind of bugger-all, just ran out a little bit through Turn 11 on the green (paint) – and put myself in the range of Morbidelli, and he tried to pass six times – every time going off the end of the track," Miller explained.

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"On the last go he did it at Turn 4 and went off, and as I was turning the corner Pirro centre-punched me in the middle of my ribs, and that was it. Not much more to say, really. Wrong place, wrong time … unlucky.

"It was shitty to end the race like that, but there's not much we could have done."

Miller was on his back foot all weekend at Misano; he struggled with front-end feel during Friday practice to languish in 17th place on the timesheets, and couldn't escape Q1 on Saturday, lining up for the Sprint and Grand Prix proper from a season-worst 18th place. After scoring just 14 points across the past three race weekends, the Australian has dropped to 10th in the world championship, making Monday's post-race test "super important" as he attempts to right the ship.

"We know we can ride and we know the bike can be good – the bike is good," he said, adding that making a big set-up change for the Dutch TT in June – and finding his way back from that – has proven difficult.

"It's just getting my confidence, my feeling, my comfort level back up there. It's one of those processes that takes a little bit, having more confidence in the front-end of the bike and trying to carry some more rolling speed while still having the ability to turn.

"The test couldn't have come at a better time for us to try to work a few things out and get ourselves ready for the back-half of this year. I'm sure there's some items that aren't for this year (scheduled for the test), but I said (to the team) 'put them on in the afternoon, because I need the morning session to understand this bike and what I need to do on it to make it better'. It's an important day for us.

"Putting it down to one thing or another is hard. We all go through these moments. It's not my first time struggling to understand, and I'm sure it won't be the last."

Jack Miller at the San Marino Motorcycle Grand Prix

Jack's San Marino Grand Prix by the numbers

  • Qualified: 18th
  • Sprint (13 laps): 15th
  • Grand Prix (27 laps): DNF (crashed, lap 10)
  • Fastest lap: 1min 32.754secs (20th), lap 4
  • Points this event: 0
  • Points this season: 104 (10th in world championship)