Miller pushes into the points at Brno
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller opened the second half of the MotoGP World Championship with a determined ride into 14th place in today’s Czech Republic Grand Prix.
The 22-lap race was started on a damp but quickly drying track as the threat of rain failed to materialise.
The conditions contributed to a thrilling and at times confusing race as riders tried to pick the right moment to stop for a bike swap and slick tyres.
Miller was one of the first to stop, switching to his second Honda RC213V as he quickly realised the conditions suited slick tyres.
But Miller’s clever move, virtually in parallel with race winner Marc Márquez, did not pay off, with a slow pit stop and then rear grip issues not allowing the Australian to maximise his race strategy.
Despite pushing through to ninth Miller struggled to keep the pace for a top ten finish and was frustrated not to be able to take full advantage of his early pit stop.
Miller eventually finished 14th and three spots ahead of teammate Tito Rabat, who also suffered with rear grip issues after his switch to slicks.
Rabat started 21st and was running a strong pace on rain tyres before making a later pit stop than Miller for slicks. Rabat played it safe to ensure he finished the race, just one second behind Ducati rival Scott Redding.
Jack Miller: 14th
“I lost some valuable seconds in the pit stop waiting for my second bike to be ready but still thought I had a chance of a top ten position. But then I found we did not have similar rear grip compared to practice when I could easily do 1’57s on an old tyre but in the race I could not match those times. The front felt really good but I had no rear grip and could not take advantage of my strategy. I tried to ride a smart race but a series of unfortunate issues cost me valuable points today.”
Tito Rabat: 17th
“The opening laps on rain tyres I did very well but after the change of bike to slicks I struggled a lot and made some mistakes trying to stay with the group. This track is not easy for me especially when I am riding alone. The main problem is a lack of feeling from the rear. At one point I had the possibility to follow Zarco and Lorenzo but I was too much on the limit to run the same pace. But we are working hard to understand the issue and I will never stop trying and I am now looking forward to the next race in Austria.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Jack timed his pit stop perfectly making his switch to slick tyres at the same time as Marc Márquez. It was early and the team was not quite ready with the bike, which cost Jack a little bit of time. That was our mistake. But the main issue was the same as the warm-up; we could not create any rear grip, which meant that Jack could not take advantage of his race strategy. Tito stopped later than Jack but then had same issue with lack of rear grip. We need to understand the issue with this lack of grip and why it's not always consistent.”