Home hero Miller a superb seventh at Phillip Island
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller received a hero's welcome from home fans after a courageous seventh place in today’s Australian Grand Prix.
Miller’s stirring performance came despite racing with a fractured right tibia held together by a plate and seven screws.
Making his trademark rocketship start Miller stunned the stars of MotoGP by taking his Honda RC213V to the front and leading the opening four laps of the 27-lap race at the super-fast Phillip Island Circuit.
Cheered on by local fans Miller outpaced Valentino Rossi, Maverick Viñales and eventual winner Marc Márquez with his daring early charge.
The gritty Aussie remained a podium contender until just after the halfway mark when rear grip levels dropped and Miller raced to ensure a top ten finish.
Miller’s amazing recovery from his injury, suffered just 24 days ago in a trials bike accident, was tribute to his determination and an intensive rehab program.
Miller’s teammate Tito Rabat missed scoring championship points by just eight hundredths of a second.
The Spaniard, who started 14th, finished 16th just behind Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo.
The third and final race in three consecutive flyaway events will be next Sunday in Sepang, venue for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Jack Miller: 7th
“It was great feeling to be leading my home race at Phillip Island but maybe going hard early hurt me later in the race with rear grip when I had to switch engine maps. It would have been nice to be able to push a bit harder at the end of the race but it was a solid weekend considering my injury, starting fifth and finishing seventh in front of my home fans, I’m happy with that.”
Tito Rabat: 16th
“I always like to score points and although I just missed out today there were many positives for me over the weekend, I learnt a lot in the mixed weather conditions over three days at Phillip Island. I qualified 14th and finished 26 seconds behind the winner, which is a good step for me. I am happy about my race and now I can look forward to the race in Sepang next week.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Jack put in a big effort to finish seventh considering his injury and as we know at this track rear grip is always an issue in the second half of the race. For a private team to finish in the top ten at this level in MotoGP is always a good feeling. It is a pity Tito just missed the final championship point but he did a good job, in conditions over the weekend that were not easy for him. Now we look forward to the race next weekend in Malaysia.”