MotoGP Portimao II: Miller was prepared for “all war”

11/09/2021 |

Image: GeeBee Pictures

Jack Miller put in another podium performance at Portimao, but the red flag kept him out of the late race fight he had expected.

Alongside Ducati Lenovo teammate Pecco Bagnaia on the podium when the Bologna plant won its second MotoGP constructors’ championship in a row, Miller praised both his employers and his Borgo Panigale colleagues. The Australian expects even more from the final next weekend as well as from the upcoming 2022 season.

“Pecco had incredible pace, praised Miller after the shortened race. “I had the start right from the start and he undercut me in turn one and I thought to myself ‘Okay, he clearly wants to push’ and he pushed!

“I rode a consistent 39, I think the best was a 39.6 and he was still like a hammer, he just chopped us off. Then I made a little mistake at turn five, but Joan [Mir] and I’ve done it that way throughout the race while he just stayed like a rock in the front. I tried to manage the tire in the middle of the race. I was hoping that in the end I could have a little more.

“When I started pushing, I passed Alex [Marquez] and then I had a tremendous moment off the accelerator in turn seven, only lost the rear, so I went to engine brake B. It was right on me, then I drove in another lap and got a small gap and then had to turn five and it did exactly the same.

“I was prepared for a fight towards the end, but the red flag came out and it’s a strange feeling when that happens because you’re gearing up for this ‘all out’ – especially between Alex and me, we have a little History and stuff, so it felt like 2014 again.

“I thought I would work up a little sweat there in the end, but it shouldn’t be. Still we take it. Super happy for the team to win the constructors’ championship. Now we still have a job, we’re trying to make it to the team championship in Valencia. A place i love A place I’m looking forward to and I’m really looking forward to finishing the season strong.

“We won the design engineers last year and I think that was shown [our strength]“Continued the Australian, explaining the secrets behind Ducati’s dominance. “Not just from Dovi [Andrea Dovizioso] or Danilo [Petrucci] but it was all of us – me, Pecco, Dovi, Danilo, Johann [Zarco] – We were all there and pushed it.

“The best thing about the Ducati is that we have some of them on the grid and there is always someone in the top 4, top 5, week after week. We have a great package and you can understand and collect data on how they deal with this type of situation. I think this is a fantastic thing that we have at Ducati and I think it helps us.

“It got stronger and stronger from year to year and as you can see, we won the constructors title last year, this year we won it again and in a week we are going to finish the team title, so we get two of the three and then 2022 we will complete the triple!

“I think we’re really lucky. Not just me and Pecco, in Michele we have a great test driver who has been with us for a long time and does a lot of great things behind the scenes. Because the stuff we’re allowed to test has already gone through him and more or less through a filter, we say, and we have a great guy with us.

“We have some amazing young talents like Jorge [Martin] and Enea [Bastianini] and even Luca [Marini]. I’ve been on the Ducati since 2017 to see the developments. The bike has changed, okay, I’ve never ridden the GP18 / 19? I missed one but the evolutions the bike has made over the past few years, to what I rode in Valencia back then, to what I ride now, is day and night and I think that shows the process that Ducati is introducing into this project.

“We are always the first – the first with the wings, the first with the fall protection devices, the first with the launch devices. You are constantly pushing your limits and others follow suit. It’s fantastic to be part of such a manufacturer and give them another constructors’ championship. And like I said, bring them the team championship next week! “