Jack Miller was satisfied with tenth place in his home Grand Prix at Phillip Island but felt he had the pace to gain a few more places before “running out of laps”.
The Australian rider was locked in a furious battle for seventh place with Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati), Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith, Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati), Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda) and Hector Barbera on the factory Ducati.
In a dramatic end to the race, returning American star Hayden crashed out following contact with Miller, while Barbera also fell as he battled with the Assen race winner in the closing stages.
“If I hadn't got caught up in a few little battles on the last lap it would've been eighth. It's a bit of a shame but that's the way it is today and that's how the cookie crumbles. It was tough out there and I had some big battles with a lot of boys, some hard fighters, so it was definitely a lot of fun,” Miller said.
“I couldn't really get past Petrucci and I felt I could close the gap to Scott quite easily. I had great pace and even when Hector came past me I passed him and I don't know if he saw red or something, but he sort of boosted it into corner six really deep and ran me wide. He ran himself onto the grass but I was able to close it down really quick and I felt I could have caught Scott, but we ran out of laps really.”
Reflecting on the incident involving Hayden, Marc VDS Honda rider Miller said he was unsure if the 2006 world champion realised he was on his inside as he attempted a pass at Honda corner on the penultimate lap.
“I just put my bike underneath him and I don't know if he saw me or not but he just didn't stand up, so it's a bit of a shame and I'm sorry to have to hit him but that's racing I guess.”
Miller had a frightening moment going into the fast Turn 3 at Phillip Island, where he was suffering from an unexplained lack of grip from the rear during the first ten laps.
“It wasn't my best start to a race but it was all right. We sat in a group with the top guys for a bit but we just kept having a moment on the entry to Turn 3 and I was losing a lot of time there. It just kept happening and I don't know why that was. Maybe the tyre was a little bit cooler and it's a bit of a shame because it cost me quite a bit of time,” Miller said.
“It was scary and as I would go in and roll off, the whole back end would start to slide and almost high-side me. I had to get back to full angle right after the moment to try and keep it on the track and I was right on the kerb. It was definitely hairy for a few laps.”
Miller said he was delighted his good friend Cal Crutchlow had won the race for his second MotoGP victory this season, but added that he intended to stop in with Hayden to apologise before making his way to Crutchlow to offer his congratulations.
“It was a great weekend and I look forward to coming back next year. For sure, I'll go right down and see [Cal] the second I go and see Nicky and say 'sorry'.
“I was happy to finish my home Grand Prix in tenth and I'm looking forward to some more next weekend in Sepang.”