Spending most of the race in fourth, Miller and fellow Ducati rider Johann Zarco caught Mir during the middle stages.

Struggling to maintain pace due to front grip issues, Mir lost second to Zarco on lap 17 of 25.

But disaster struck when Miller made his podium move under braking for Turn 1, two laps later.

Asking a little too much of his front tyre, the Australian’s factory Ducati folded onto the asphalt, wiping out Mir in the process.

“It was one of those things,” said Miller afterwards. “I felt good, the race was going well. I’d conserved the tyres for the first 16 laps. Started closing on the guys in front and when Johann Zarco passed Mir I said, ‘alright, I need to start setting up a pass here’.

“I tried for 3 laps in a row to get close enough into Turn 1, and it felt like I did, but as I went to pass, I was a fair bit on the inside, I don't know if I collected one of the damp patches there.

“I went deep, Joan went deep. Joan released [the brakes], I released, and I was just on the shit part of the track trying to stop the bike.

“I tucked the front, T-boned him. Crashing out of a race that late in a good position like that is always shitty, and then taking a rival out as well makes it even worse. Feels a real stinker.

“But it is what it is, just try to take the positives, we were in a good position, felt solid all weekend, the pace was there to the end of the race, so not much more to say.”

It wasn’t the first time the pair have tangled in recent seasons but, after initially clapping to indicate his displeasure, Mir was quick to check on Miller when he was slow to stand up after the incident and the pair subsequently embraced.

“It's a shit deal either way, but he took it the best way he could,” Miller said.

Jack Miller on MotoGP switch: ‘No truth’ to LCR rumour

Still to sign for 2023 and facing competition for his factory Ducati seat from the likes of Enea Bastianini, some reported rumours over the Portimao weekend suggested Miller is in talks with LCR Honda for next season.

“No truth to that rumour at all,” Miller said. “No idea where that came from. I was rather surprised when I saw that this morning on Facebook. But zero truth to that rumour.”

Ducati: We don’t want to lose Jack…

Earlier on Sunday, LCR boss Lucio Cecchinello also denied any direct contact with Miller or his manager Aki Ajo, telling Dorna’s Simon Crafar:

“Honestly, I never speak with Jack or his manager. I’m not sure if his manager spoke with Honda, but I honestly don’t know. We are fully focused with our current program.”

Meanwhile, Ducati team manager Davide Tardozzi insisted Miller remains part of Ducati’s future plans:

“We don’t want to lose Jack. We’ll see what’s going to be in the next weeks. We’re happy if other teams are looking at Jack, because it means we have a good rider. For Ducati, everything will be on the way to keep him.”

If continuing at the official team is not an option, Miller has previously stated he would have no reservations about returning to the satellite Pramac squad, since it also has access to factory-spec Ducati machinery.

Pramac currently fields Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin - the young Spanish star, a race winner in his rookie season, joining Miller and Bastianini as a candidate for the remaining factory seat alongside Francesco Bagnaia for 2023.

Zarco went on to claim second place on Sunday and is now fifth in the world championship, ten points behind the top Ducati (GP21) of Gresini's Bastianini.

Miller - who also suffered a technical DNF in Qatar – heads to Jerez equal on points with Bagnaia for ninth in the standings, with the other GP22 riders, Martin and Luca Marini (VR46), 13th and 16th.

Like Miller, Bastianini and Martin also crashed out in Portimao.