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Miller solves problems to speed to sixth in Argentina

Monday, 3 April 2023

A mid-race engine map reboot stopped Jack Miller's slide after a strong start in the rain, the Aussie banking 10 world championship points at Termas de Rio Hondo.

Jack Miller's patience and a mid-race engine map change propelled the Australian to sixth place in a rain-soaked second round of the MotoGP™ season in Argentina on Sunday, the KTM rider salvaging solid points on a weekend where qualifying left him with plenty on his plate.

Miller's second weekend with his new squad looked set to be an underwhelming one after he qualified just 16th, ruing a decision to save tyres in Friday practice in lieu of chasing a faster lap time that left him stuck in Q1 on Saturday.


With conditions completely different in Sunday's 25-lap Grand Prix from the Sprint, Miller bided his time early before some high-speed problem-solving saw him hold his ground when tyre wear looked set to scupper his chances of solid points.

"Coming from 16th to sixth, you can't be too disappointed … it would have been a lot nicer to start up the front when it's wet like that because you're not absolutely drenched by the end of the back straight," Miller mused afterwards.

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"When I got through the midfield and got to the pointier end of the group, I put in a couple of decent laps and the times were really fast, and I thought 'we're on here, it could be decent one'. I could see myself reeling in the boys in front. But then I just hit a massive wall – I don't know if I cooked the rear tyre or it just got a little bit hot on the edge, but immediately it was like night and day on the next lap.

"I tried a whole heap of combinations with the (engine) map and found something with less power and less traction control, having the bike a bit more 'free'. We definitely left something on the table set-up wise, but a decent first ride in the wet on this bike and some more solid points, so we can keep chipping away from there."

Miller dropped one place in the championship standings to sixth on a day where race-winner Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati) took his maiden MotoGP™ victory and the first win for the Valentino Rossi-run Mooney VR46 team, but said the knowledge gained from a wet weekend so early in his KTM tenure will be of benefit in the long run.

"Qualifying just let us down because we saved tyres, we were being too conservative with tyres and we shouldn't have been – everyone else wasn't," he said.

"That cost us but we'll learn from that – I can do things better, and the boys can do things better as well. It's just a matter of learning each other, and I feel we're well on our way.

"We wanted more, but all in all it's been a good weekend and we learned a lot."

Next up for Miller and the MotoGP™ grid is a trip to Austin for the Grand Prix of the Americas (April 16). The Queenslander qualified second at COTA 12 months ago, and has a pair of third-place finishes (2019, 2022) from six starts at the Texas track.

Jack's Argentina Grand Prix by the numbers

  • Qualified: 16th
  • Sprint (12 laps): 10th
  • Grand Prix (25 laps): 6th
  • Fastest lap: 1min 46.081secs (5th), lap 4
  • Points this event: 10
  • Points this season: 25 (6th in world championship)