But his race ended in brutal fashion when the factory Ducati rider was torpedoed at Turn 4, renamed in his honour just a day earlier, by a wayward Alex Marquez, on lap 9 of 27.

“Not the day I had planned, that's for certain,” said Miller, whose slim title hopes were also left in the gravel “But it is what it is, that’s the cards we were dealt.

“I felt mega, got a decent start and plugged my way through. I threw it at the inside of Pecco a couple times, but understood he wanted to lead the way. I said, ‘alright, fourth is good enough, just swap the map’ and I was happy to hold station there and let the race come to me.

“Then Bezzecchi came up underneath me. I thought ‘alright, I'll have to get him back’ and I was sort of aiming at Turn 10 again. But I didn't get that far.

Jack Miller will win - Phillip Island DEFINITIVE for the championship! | MotoGP 2022

“I got to T4, Miller Corner. I was mid-corner, just about to release the brakes and get on the gas and got a front wheel to the middle of my spine.

“There was not much I could really do about that.

“One minute I'm looking at the back end of Bezzecchi’s bike and the next minute I was seeing stars.

“I got pretty winded, feel alright, just a bit bruised and whatnot.”

The fact it happened at Miller Corner added to "the irony of it all. But it is what it is. We'll come back next year even stronger."

Alex Marquez: ‘Sorry to Jack, that mistake was a bit too much’

Having lost control of his LCR Honda under braking, Marquez couldn’t avoid the Australian ahead. The Spaniard, who later received a long lap penalty for next weekend’s Malaysian MotoGP, was quick to apologise.

“I’m sorry for Jack at his home GP. I understand why he is angry and he has every reason to be,” Marquez said. “I just made a mistake. I was really careful on that corner because I know it is easy to make a mistake and that lap I started to attack a little bit because everybody was passing me at that point.

“I went in a bit more, had some locking and caught some speed. Sorry to him and his team. We lose a good opportunity today to make a good race and a good result but life is like this, it’s racing. Everybody can make a mistake, but that mistake was a bit too much.”

Marquez ran straight over to Miller, a former Moto3 title rival, to check on his condition before paying a visit to the Ducati pit box.

“It’s normal, he was angry! Later when I went to the box I saw Tardozzi and all them and they said ‘no worries, it can happen’. Just this. He did it also in the past, so it can happen to anybody. But it is not an excuse, I made a huge mistake today.”

Miller: ‘People travelled far and wide, you feel you let them down’

As he walked away from the accident, Miller’s first port of call was to his family and friends gathered trackside.

“Once I got my breath back, I wandered over to the oldies and gave them a hug and said sorry,” Miller said.

“A lot of people have travelled - not only my family, but a lot of families all the way around this joint - have travelled far and wide to see an Aussie do good. And you kind of feel like you let them down.

“So it is devastating, but it is part of it. That's part of motorcycle racing.”

Once the adrenaline had gone down, the 27-year-old said he had no hard feelings towards Marquez.

“What's there to have hard feelings about? At the end of the day, we’re all out there trying to do our best. I understand he might have got a little bit carried away trying to get past Marini, but you know we've all made mistakes.

“I think he's as devastated as I am to not be finishing the race but don’t get me wrong, it’s my first home grand prix after three years and definitely not the way I wanted to finish it.”

But it didn’t diminish the support Miller has received this weekend: “It's been fantastic. It's awesome to see motorcycling in such good health back here. I love this sport and it's amazing to see everyone enjoying it as much as I do.”

Miller sets sights on third in the world championship

With his title chances now officially over, Miller will go into the final two rounds of the season 12-points behind Enea Bastianini and 27 from third in the standings Aleix Espargaro.

“It could have been a lot better than it was [in terms of the points] with Fabio crashing and Aleix having a tough one,” Miller said. “But Aleix and Bastianini didn't get too many points today.

“So my main goal is to try and beat those guys or try to do the best I can to get as close to them as possible. At the end of the day, that's all we can do.

“I’m happy for the team. They're now leading the World championship [with Bagnaia] after they were 91 points down. I feel like the teams’ championship will be wrapped up soon. So it's been a good year nonetheless.”

Free practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang starts on Friday.