Australian racer Jack Miller has endured a tough weekend in South America, finishing in 11th place in the Argentinian MotoGP™.
The Townsville rider started the shortened two-day race weekend strongly but a crash in Qualifying was a major setback, leaving the Ducati Lenovo Team rider 11th on the grid.
But worse was to follow after race stewards found that Miller had impeded World Champion Fabio Quartararo during Qualifying, and they handed Miller a demotion of three grid places, to 14th.
“Up until my second time attack attempt in qualifying, the day had been positive,” said Miller.
“But then, as soon as I started my second lap on the soft tyre, I lost the front and crashed. I went back in, changed my suit and went out on the second bike, but obviously, after the crash, the feeling with the bike wasn’t the same, and I couldn’t push as hard as I had before.”
Miller and the Ducati team made significant changes to his red GP22 racer on Sunday morning but in the race, he found it to be no better, struggling home in 11th place.
“I’ve never done a race without passing one single person in my entire life. That for me is a massive blow,” the Queenslander said.
“It doesn’t feel good. We are all working extremely hard now to understand what the issues are and to try and find a solution as quickly as possible.”
To compound his problems his Ducati teammate Pecco Bagnaia, who also struggled in Qualifying, raced through the field to finish fifth.
“We were in a tricky situation,” Miller explained.
“We were missing pace throughout the whole weekend; chasing our arse a little bit.
“We went in one direction, then we made a change during Warm Up and then again for the race, just to try and move the balance around of the bike a little bit and it just didn’t give me any kind of contact.
“There’s a couple of bumps going into Turn 1 and there’s the clean line and then the dirty line. I wasn’t able to put a wheel into the dirty line. If I did, I’d instantly start to lock the front or have moments.
“It just felt like I was really riding on the knife edge this weekend in terms of I didn’t have any margin to play with and I think it’s just due to the track conditions, the way the bike is working with the grip out there, and the steps we made throughout the weekend to try and fix that.
“I wasn’t able to force in the braking zones as I normally can. I wasn’t able to use the front like I normally would.”
Miller and the rest of the MotoGP™ grid now move to the USA for the next round of the next race in the 2022 World Championship in Texas this weekend, at the Circuit of the Americas, just outside Austin.