Home thrills Miller

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - IAN ROYALL

SOME guys were just born to race mo­tor­cy­cles.

Jack Miller for one. Aus­tralia’s sole Mo­toGP rider is count­ing the days till he rips it up on his home track at Phillip Is­land on Oc­to­ber 18.

“I can’t wait to get on the bike, hit 300km/ h into turn one, knock it down a cou­ple of gears,” Miller said.

“It’s go­ing to be awe­some. It feels like home. It’s my favourite track, I can’t wait.”

In Mel­bourne this week, the LCR Honda team rider from Townsville hopes the mid- sea­son break will act as a launch pad for the re­main­ing nine races of the Mo­toGP year, re­sum­ing in In­di­anapo­lis on Au­gust 9.

“There are just a few things I’d like to iron out and get a lit­tle bit smoother and then we’ll be ready.

“The sec­ond half of the sea­son should be bet­ter for us. There’s a lot of tracks com­ing up that I en­joy.”

This year was al­ways go­ing to be a year of con­sol­i­da­tion in the top flight af­ter leapfrog­ging from the Moto3 cat­e­gory.

Miller has col­lected points in four out of nine out­ings, with an 11th plac­ing in Catalunya his best re­sult.

In his first race, un­der lights at Qatar in March, Miller made a real state­ment.

Start­ing from 22nd on the grid, Miller passed 12 bikes in the first four corners.

Although he slipped back and even­tu­ally crashed out on the sec­ond- last lap, plenty of pun­dits could see that this easy­go­ing Aussie with the dirt­bike pedi­gree could race.

Miller, 20, has spent the past cou­ple of weeks with fam- ily in Queens­land, hang­ing out with mates and rac­ing dirt bikes.

The rider con­ceded he had made rookie er­rors this year – most no­tably crash­ing out in Assen and Le Mans – but that it was all part of the learn­ing process.

“You just have to re­duce mis­takes and get more com­pet­i­tive,’’ Miller said.

Miller doesn’t feel the public’s pres­sure to fol­low in foot­steps of Aus­tralian world cham­pi­ons Wayne Gard­ner, Michael Doohan and Casey Stoner.

“They are all great riders and throw in guys like ( Chris) Ver­meulen and there’s a lot tal­ent and it’d be great to be at that level.

“Like any­one, I do want to be World Cham­pion at some level and since I’m now in Mo­toGP, that looks like that will have to be it.’’

Miller be­lieves the Mo­toGP ti­tle will be fought out be­tween fac­tory Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi who leads by 179 points to 166.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Marc Mar­quez is fourth on 114 points.

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