On Saturday he was the favorite for pole position in Austin MotoGP qualifying but was only tenth: Jack Miller indirectly blames Michelin for this.
With a clear best time in the third free practice session, Ducati driver Jack Miller actually recommended himself for pole position in MotoGP qualifying for the Grand Prix of the Americas on Saturday in Austin. He was also the fastest in fourth free practice, but ended up surprisingly far behind in the battle for pole.
With a time of 2: 03.720 minutes, Miller was almost a second short of the best time of his team-mate Francesco Bagnaia, who secured his third pole position in a row, while the Australian was no longer tenth on the grid.
In his media lap after qualifying, the audibly dejected Ducati driver explained the reason: Without explicitly naming Michelin, he blamed problems with the soft rear tire for his poor performance. That meant he was eight tenths faster in third free practice.
Miller sees “a recurring problem”
And compared to his time in the fourth practice session, which he drove with the hard rear tire, he was only able to improve by three tenths in qualifying with the soft version. Miller’s frustration and disappointment were correspondingly great, especially since it was not the first time that he suffered from poor tire performance.
“It wasn’t because I didn’t try, that’s for sure. We know it’s a recurring problem,” he says of the tire problem. “It happened a couple of times and I can tell you guys that I’m fucking sick of it.”
Direct criticism of Michelin, however, does not come from Miller’s lips. Because that doesn’t seem to be desirable: “Even though I would like to, we won’t comment on it at this point. It’s just that I wasn’t able to do what I could have done, and that’s about it. ”
Miller in qualifying with double bad luck
“But anyway, we keep going. Hopefully it doesn’t happen tomorrow,” the Australian continues and soothes: “I’m trying to do my best, stay calm, do my job and work for the race. What in is in my control, I try to master as best I can. ”
Unfortunately, you can’t control everything. In addition, in qualifying, Miller lost his fastest lap (2: 03.662 minutes) in the first run due to disregard of the track limits. However, this had no effect on the ranking.
In the second run he ran out of time: “I would have liked to have tried at least one more lap to maybe catch up. But I didn’t have time. Apart from that, I tried mine as soon as I hit the track Going to the max and it didn’t work, ”explains Miller.
What can you do from tenth place on the grid in the race?
Looking ahead to tomorrow, he is aware that the starting position will make it “not the easiest race”. “But when you look back at what Dovizioso managed to do the last time we drove here. He failed in Q1 and came in fourth in the end,” he says, recapitulating the comeback of the ex-Ducati colleague.
“Okay, there were a couple of crashes back then. But I have a good pace, good potential, and I feel good on the bike. We just have to get through cleanly at the start, which is not easy from so far back, especially with this first one Curve.”
“We’ll try to work our way up as quickly as possible and get the maximum out of it,” said Miller fiercely despite the qualification bankruptcy. “We are now concentrating on tomorrow. The points will be awarded there. My opponents in the World Cup, Zarco and Mir, are in front of me. So it will be important to leave them behind.”
Miller wants to show catch-up like Dovi 2019
When asked which rear tire he will choose for the race, the Australian insists: “Not the soft one!” This is not only due to the poor qualifying performance, but also to the experience of 2019, when Miller finished third in the race with the soft-soft combination.
“I managed to save third place, but towards the end of the race I lost time to Dovi, who was on the road with the medium. I tried the media out today in fourth free practice, but it deteriorated relatively quickly. In the end I tried the hard tire with who managed the best lap time “, he draws the comparison.
“We have to do a few more laps with it (in the warm-up; note generally) and wait to see how the conditions will develop. But at the moment I feel very good with the hard tire,” he says Ducati rider firmly.