Home thrills Miller
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.