JACK KICKS BACK

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMP­SON michael. thomp­son@ news. com. au

TOWNSVILLE Mo­toGP star Jack Miller may be at home rest­ing on a mid- sea­son break, but for an elite speed­ster like Miller the white line fever al­ways re­mains.

Miller is en­joy­ing the good life at his Kelso home fol­low­ing nine rounds of this year’s Mo­toGP, which restarts next month at the Czech Re­pub­lic’s Au­to­mo­to­drom Brno.

Be­fore that Miller will ride at the pres­ti­gious Suzuka 8- Hour en­durance race in Ja­pan, where he will ride for Honda’s fac­tory team as part of the Mo­toGP’s ‘ sum­mer break’.

Miller’s sprawl­ing Kelso prop­erty might be as far re­moved from the Mo­toGP cir­cuit as any­one could get, and on Satur­day he will at­tend the wed­ding of his older brother Fer­gus.

But even then his mind is still fixed on that next race.

“The head is never out of rac­ing, we’re al­ways think­ing about it — whether it’s get­ting up in the morn­ing to go to the gym, cycling or what­ever,” Miller said.

“I’m do­ing ev­ery­thing I can to make sure I’m as ready as I can be to go to bat­tle.

“But then again it is nice to zone out a bit and fo­cus on some other stuff.”

Miller’s mother Sonya even changed the date of her el­der son’s wed­ding to make sure Miller would be around for the big day, no mean feat con­sid­er­ing the whirl­wind ac­tiv­ity tak­ing place on and off the track.

Miller is placed 12th in the Mo­toGP stand­ings and scored his best fin­ish of the year to date at the Dutch TT, plac­ing sixth.

The for­mer Cathe­dral School stu­dent is also in the third and final year of his con­tract with the Honda fac­tory, and re­ports have emerged he will switch to Pra­mac Du­cati Mo­toGP team from next sea­son.

Miller yes­ter­day said noth­ing was fi­nalised and all cards were still on the ta­ble.

“There’s a few things hap­pen­ing at the mo­ment in terms of con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions and all that sort of jazz, but at the mo­ment my fo­cus is just on get­ting this eight- hour race out of the way,” he said.

“Hope­fully by the time we get to the Czech Re­pub­lic we should be able to an­nounce some more stuff in the pipe­line. “It’s just about tak­ing one step at a time, I don’t like to be too fo­cused on those sort of things. “My man­ager will be do­ing most of the ne­go­ti­a­tions, but we’ve got op­tions and we’re just try­ing to weight it up. “As you know this year’s quite hard be­cause there’s not many teams, most of the rid­ers are tied down be­cause they did their con­tracts last year. “So we’re just try­ing to the best we can, and once we get the tim­ing right — when other rid­ers are off their con­tracts as well — we can ne­go­ti­ate for next year.” The fact that FOX SPORTS am­bas­sador Miller is look­ing ahead to the rest of the sea­son and be­yond is a stroke of for­tune in it­self, given his ter­ri­fy­ing crash at the French Mo­toGP less than two months ago. Miller, who has en­dured plenty of ma­jor ac­ci­dents through­out his rac­ing ca­reer, said he was blessed to have walked away. “It was big one, that’s for sure,” he said. “You don’t want to have too many of them; locked in front at 190km/ h and rolling into the wall, it wasn’t the best feel­ing. “But to come away with mi­nor in­juries af­ter such a huge crash like that ... I have to thank my lucky stars. “You could have the same crash seven times over and have seven dif­fer­ent re­sults, and I’ve had smaller crashes and suf­fered a lot worse. “I’d like to say I’m pretty lucky boy for that one.” Get­ting his start in Moto3 in 2012, Miller made his­tory in 2015 by be­com­ing the first Moto3 rider to skip Moto2 and lead straight into Mo­toGP. Since then he has scored one race vic­tory — at the 2016 Dutch TT — and placed reg­u­larly inside the top 10. Miller has been rac­ing at the elite level for so long it can be hard to for­get he is just 22 years old, which Miller re­minds peo­ple when talk­ing about the fu­ture. “I’ve got a long way to go in this game yet,” he said. “We’re try­ing to work our way up to get the de­cent bike to re­ally fight for top po­si­tions.” Miller leaves Townsville for Ja­pan on Mon­day.

Every round of the Mo­toGP ™ is LIVE, ad- break free from lights out to the che­quered flag and in HD on FOX SPORTS.

Main pic­ture: SCOTT RADFORD- CHISHOLM

FAST LANE: Townsville wnsville born Mo­toGP rider Jack ack Millerr is back in TownsvilleTow dur­ing a break in the sea­son.

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