Miller: There was nobody in danger but I crashed, I was in the wrong

‘Do I feel hard done by? No!’ - Jack Miller recovered from a long-lap penalty to secure a brilliant German MotoGP podium, his first at Sachsenring in the premier class.
Jack Miller, Ducati MotoGP Sachsenring
Jack Miller, Ducati MotoGP Sachsenring

Miller, who crashed under yellow flag conditions during FP4, was later awarded a long-lap penalty for Sunday’s German MotoGP, a penalty that wasn’t able to keep the Australian from taking a first podium since Le Mans. 

What it did do however, was cost Miller the chance of challenging fellow Ducati rider Johann Zarco for second, even though the Pramac rider was struggling considerably more with tyre degradation during the closing stages. 

But as is the norm in any category, crashing under a yellow flag is usually a slam-dunk penalty regardless of what led to the incident. 

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In this instance Miller was suffering from vibration on the front tyre and although Aleix Espargaro - the Aprilia rider caused the yellow flags to be deployed by crashing moments before Miller did [final corner] - was no longer at the scene, nor was his bike or marshals for that matter, Miller was unable to convince the stewards to avoid handing out a penalty, which he ultimately felt was correct.

Speaking in the post-race press conference, Miller said: "You can speak to them. I went up there completely honest with them like I am with you guys. I went up there and said ‘hey, I literally saw the yellow flag, I wasn’t pushing, I had a little bit of vibration in the front’. 

"I said to myself ‘don’t crash’ and I crashed. I took the data, printed it out and showed them that this was the vibration. 

"I understand that they have a job to do and it is what it is. If you crash under a yellow then we all know the consequences. 

"Do I feel hard done by? No! There was nobody in danger but there was a yellow flag and I was in the wrong."

Long-lap ‘one of the dodgiest moments’ of the German MotoGP - Miller

Jack Miller, German MotoGP race, 19 June
Jack Miller, German MotoGP race, 19 June

So given the fact Miller had to serve a long-lap penalty, how did it affect the future KTM rider’s strategy?

The Australian added: "With the long-lap penalty I knew I had to get a good start and I didn’t do that [laughs]. 

"It was kind of like the first objective was gone, but I was able to get through on Fabio [Di Giannantonio] and get about a lap-and-a-half in free air and I stretched it out as much as I could before doing the long-lap. I left it until the last moment. 

"The long-lap was one of the dodgiest moments of the race. There were a fair few stones on the long-lap area and I nearly lost the front.”

Fabio Quartararo makes the most of front row start, AGAIN!

Like In Catalunya, Quartararo’s victory was made possible by a good qualifying lap and superb race start.

In the races Quartararo has failed to win this season, getting bogged down behind his rivals has been the underlying issue as overtaking in MotoGP has become much harder due to the latest aero advances - it’s also something Yamaha struggles with due to a lack of top speed. 

Therefore, the strategy to beat Quartararo is seemingly clear, get ahead and make it difficult for the opening few laps before tyre pressures increase. However, Quartararo has been sensational during the opening stages of the last two Grand Prix’ and in the process gave no one the chance to fight him. 

Fabio Quartararo, Francesco Bagnaia falling off behind, MotoGP race, German MotoGP 19 June
Fabio Quartararo, Francesco Bagnaia falling off behind, MotoGP race,…

"We need to be in first position always because if not it’s really difficult," claimed the reigning world champion. "We have to at least be as far in front as possible because to overtake the other bikes I’m struggling so much and at the start it’s always a little bit easier. 

"I was with Pecco [Bagnaia] really close, and when he overtook me on the first corner, even if he didn’t go so wide I directly went to the inside and it’s these moments where you need to take the benefit."

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