This website uses cookies for analytics and personalised content. View our Privacy Policy for more information on cookies.
Skip to main content

Miller milestone falls flat after early spill

Monday, 26 June 2023

On his 200th Grand Prix start, the KTM rider's Dutch TT lasts less than two minutes after a second-lap tumble following a storming start.

Jack Miller quipped he was "happy with bugger-all" after crashing out of the Dutch TT on Sunday at Assen, the Australian left pondering what might have been after a flying start from the fourth row of the grid.

Starting 12th after front-end vibrations on his KTM saw him slower in qualifying than he was in Friday practice, Miller stormed to seventh in the opening exchanges on Sunday, passing Aprilia's Maverick Vinales into the final chicane to complete the first lap.


As Vinales shaped up to retaliate at the first corner on lap two, Miller lost the front-end of his KTM and became the race's first retirement on his landmark 200th Grand Prix start.

"That definitely wasn't the way I wanted my 200th Grand Prix to go, one lap into it," Miller said.

TICKETS: Not one, but two premiere class races at this year's MotoGP™ Guru by Gryfyn Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2023. Purchase tickets today!

"I got a decent start and put the move on 'Vinny' into the last corner, and he came back at me at Turn 1 and I thought he was going wide, so I tried to cut back under … I asked a little bit too much of the front-end and away she went.

"I held a couple of degrees more lean angle at the apex to square it up, and that was all she wrote.

"I'm just pissed off with what could have been. I got a relatively good first corner and a good first lap, but it's hard to know what could have been possible. I'm not going to sit here and say that I would have done this or done that – I would have liked to have been there battling with those boys at the front. I was just trying to slice and dice at that point in time, and it wasn't to be."

Miller's pointless weekend at Assen – he finished 11th in the Saturday Sprint race before Sunday's crash – continued a curious run of results for the Australian at a circuit where he made his MotoGP™ breakthrough. A shock winner at Assen on a second-string Honda from 18th on the grid in 2016 for his maiden premier-class victory, the 28-year-old hasn't finished better than sixth (twice) in the Netherlands since.

Miller was one of eight riders not to finish on Sunday, six of whom crashed in soaring temperatures that saw the tarmac surpass 50 degrees in the lead-up to the race, the hottest track temperatures of the season so far.

"I never felt like crashing all weekend, but with the temperatures up like they were today and the Dunlop (Moto2) rubber sweeping the track clean, it was pretty skatey," he explained.

"I think that's why you saw a lot of front-end losses today."

Despite Sunday's non-finish, Miller described his opening eight Grand Prix weekends with KTM as "unreal" ahead of the five-week northern hemisphere summer break before the championship resumes at the British Grand Prix in August.

In a season where Ducati riders have combined to take 13 of the 16 victories across the Sprint and Grand Prix races, KTM sits second in the constructors' standings ahead of Aprilia, Honda and Yamaha, while Miller is seventh in the riders' standings with 79 points.

"The first half of the year has been unreal, we've had a bike fighting there every weekend, whether that's myself, (KTM teammate) Brad (Binder) or even (GasGas rider) Augusto (Fernandez)," he said.

"I've had two sprint race podiums and a main race podium and we've been challenging the majority of the time.

"We can be very happy with what the bike is doing and we'll come back to Silverstone with full force, recharged and ready for the back-half of the season."

Jack's Dutch TT by the numbers

  • Qualified: 12th
  • Sprint (13 laps): 11th
  • Grand Prix (26 laps): DNF (crashed on lap 2)
  • Fastest lap: N/A
  • Points this event: 0
  • Points this season: 79 (7th in world championship)