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Miller 'slowly but surely' edging towards KTM win after Spanish podium

Monday, 1 May 2023

A pair of visits to the rostrum at Jerez has Jack Miller already thinking of bigger things just four weekends into his new adventure with KTM.

Jack Miller feels a maiden MotoGP™ win with KTM isn't far away, after the Australian made giant strides at his new address with a pair of third-place finishes at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Miller, on his fourth race weekend with the team after spending the previous five seasons at Ducati, qualified in second place at Jerez and finished third in both Saturday's 12-lap Sprint and Sunday's 24-lap Grand Prix, leaping to fourth in the world championship standings after he'd crashed out of a podium position in Texas a fortnight previously.


The 28-year-old finished just 1.119 seconds behind race-winner and former Ducati teammate Pecco Bagnaia on Sunday, and says the result finally showed the promise of the KTM that has been evident from the first race weekend of the season in Portugal.

"It's the fourth Grand Prix, and we have a good package," he said.

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"Now, it's just time … we're slowly but surely arriving (at the front), and I'm sure we'll come to some tracks that are better for us.

"It's nice to be back up here (on the podium) – it feels like a minute, but it hasn't been that long – but to be here in these (KTM) colours feels even better. The bike has been phenomenal all year, every weekend I've felt like we've been missing a little bit here or there, so it was nice this weekend to have everything polished and do it right. We're taking it to the big boys now, and it feels really great."

Miller's battle with KTM teammate Brad Binder and reigning world champion Bagnaia went up a level on lap five, when Bagnaia slide underneath an unsuspecting Miller at Turn 6, a hard move that saw the riders make contact. Bagnaia immediately raised a hand in apology as Miller's gesticulations showed his frustration, and Bagnaia was told by race control to give the position back, which he did after Turn 1 on lap eight before repassing the Australian two laps later.

Miller admitted he was unsure if the penalty was necessary, but was more certain about how such incidents need to be adjudicated.

"I was on the racing line – whether or not the penalty needed to be there, I don't know," he said.

"Pecco said that he had some (front) locking coming in there, and he kind of had to go to the inside. I felt like I was on the line … I was really lucky that I could see the big red front-end of the (Ducati) coming beneath me and I was able to stand it up in time. I wasn't expecting it, I didn't know it was coming.

"I wasn't happy at the time and I gave him a wave, voiced my frustration, but it's racing. We all complain and whinge a little bit, but then we get back to work. If they want to do the penalty, do the penalty … all we're asking for is to be consistent so it's the same for the guys who are in 15th as well, if there's stuff going on back there. It can't just be the guys who are on the TV cameras."

Miller, Binder and Bagnaia stood on the podium in both races across the Jerez weekend, and Miller feels the Spanish silverware justifies his decision to walk away from Ducati for more job security and a new challenge with KTM, returning to where he rode in his Moto3 days.

"It's super satisfying to do this so early with KTM," he said.

"I wanted a new challenge. I took a chance on myself … people in business do it all the time, and it's no different here. Yes, it can come back to bite you on the arse – but we took a risk, and it feels mega when it comes off.

"I can't thank KTM enough. And thanks to the people that doubt us – I love it. To be back here on the podium, to have both those bikes on the podium – I didn't think it would happen this quickly, so I'm stoked."

Jack's Spanish Grand Prix by the numbers

  • Qualified: 2nd
  • Sprint (12 laps): 3rd
  • Grand Prix (25 laps): 3rd
  • Fastest lap: 1min 38.037secs (2nd), lap 20
  • Points this event: 23
  • Points this season: 49 (4th in world championship)