After finishing his MotoGP season with a podium in Valencia, Jack Miller signed his racing activities with a podium – after a DNF – in 2021 during a popular home appearance at the Australian Superbike Final.
With a Caterpillar-supported Panigale V4R with standard electronics, Miller qualified for his debut races at Bend Motorsport Park in second place behind his Ducati colleague, the reigning and soon-to-be ASBK 2021 champion, Wayne Maxwell.
Race one was canceled after six laps when Miller (Michelin tires) finished second behind Maxwell (Pirelli).
The three-lap restart proved short-lived for the # 43, who struggled with its starts but this time snapped the holeshot before getting embroiled in some frantic passes with Maxwell and Glenn Allerton.
But Miller was then knocked out when Aiden Wagner tried to overtake but lost the front and sent both of them into the dirt.
Race two saw more red flags, this time on the first lap, with Miller slipping in fourth after a slow break in on the restart. The two-time MotoGP race winner 2021 then overtook Troy son Oli Bayliss and moved up to third place before successfully chasing the leaders Maxwell and Allerton.
Maxwell increased his pace to be 3.8 seconds ahead of Allerton’s BMW in the closing stages for a perfect double in what may be his final ASBK event.
Miller slipped two seconds from Allerton and had his hands full fending off a late attack by Cru Halliday’s Dunlop-shod Yamaha to confirm last place on the podium.
Miller celebrated by entertaining fans with his repertoire of wheelies and burnouts on the slow down lap.
“I think we can be pretty happy with this result,” said Miller, who for the past two seasons had been denied a chance to race in front of his home MotoGP fans at Phillip Island due to Covid.
“The guys rode really well today. I’m usually pretty good at the start, but with this thing I’m trying to take off like I’m at the traffic lights and it won’t work!
“There was a lot of fun. Thanks everyone for coming, it’s great to see ASBK like this.
“I love racing bikes, that’s why we’re here and I would love to come back and do it again.”
Miller will be back on his factory Ducati MotoGP machine during the Sepang 2022 test in early February.