Jack Miller has stated he is unsure why both he and Cal Crutchlow were singled out for criticism from Christophe Ponsson after the Frenchman claimed both were integral in him losing his replacement ride with Avintia Ducati.

On Thursday at Aragon the Australian explained why he opposed the Frenchman continuing in place of Tito Rabat.

“They need to have more experience on a world level,” he said, while stating many other MotoGP riders were in agreement with him and Crutchlow.

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Miller expressed concerns that Ponsson, whose fastest race lap at Misano was 4.6s slower than Andrea Dovizioso’s overall best, could be a danger at tracks of a shorter length, such as Phillip Island, and felt it may start a precedent of riders with insufficient experience paying for places on the premier class grid.

Ponsson claimed he signed a four-race agreement with Avintia to replace the injured Rabat, which was then cancelled in the wake of riders’ comments in the Safety Commission meeting at Misano. World Superbike regular Jordi Torres will ride for the squad this weekend.

“I’m not going to say ‘I didn’t say he should be there or not’ and I wasn't the only one,” said Miller. “The guy was there and paid for his ride. I think for him and for the championship it looks unprofessional when you come to a race and I crash and I can still lap him.

“He nearly got lapped twice on a track that is quite long like Misano. The big worry is not only about Misano but coming to faster tracks like Phillip Island where the lap-time is closer to the 20s. It is easier to get lapped there than say Misano.

“You saw in the first Free Practices that many riders were nearly touching him. I think Cal and I got singled out but I think everyone was more or less on the side of us. I’m all for giving someone a chance but I think they need to have more experience on a world level than being in the Spanish Superbike championship.

“I don't think he has ever had a podium in any championship class. [it should be] someone with experience. I’m not saying you had to have ridden a MotoGP bike but it would help. I think we need some sort of filtering system.

“If someone gets injured and we are selling the rights to the highest bidder what’s to say that some guy from the Qatar championship or someone with a lot of money comes in? OK, they don't make the cut-off but still…there are the free practices when your lap-times count so it is like qualifying.

“You go out on track and you run into traffic like that where you don't understand where they are braking, which line, not like any of the other competition out there. We work so hard on safety and then just to have somebody – I don't want to say dangerous riding because he moved out of the way in the race – but we need a filtering system.

“I don't understand why Cal and I have been singled out. Maybe we made a joke when we were all talking about it and we got remembered. The safety commission is supposed to be a closed commission and what happens behind the walls is meant to stay there and obviously somebody – and I don't want to point the finger – has leaked it to the team.

“I’d say one of the other riders put Cal and I in the mud for no reason. We look like the assholes when we are the only ones speaking common sense.

“I understand everyone wants to ride in MotoGP: I went from Moto3 right-thru but I did do the testing and everything prior. I wasn't in the deep-end and not like for FP1, 2 and 3. It is a big call.”

Should series organiser Dorna then implement a stricter screening policy for possible replacement riders?

“Like I said, there should be something,” he said. “I still think the idea of people paying for their ride in MotoGP is too much. But it is the way it is and some guys out there are able to buy themselves a ride, but you can see how it works for them by their positions.

“Had he [Ponsson] ever been in this paddock before, so to jump directly into a MotoGP race is a bit out of depth. There are other guys, like the Japanese test riders, but in Japan they are incredibly fast so it is hard to say what should and shouldn't be allowed. I think common sense should work.”

Does this issue highlight the lack of suitable replacement riders available to MotoGP teams?

“I don't think it is a problem,” Miller said. “I think there are a lot of guys out there who have experience to come back into the paddock, like Baz. It is hard to come back in because the level is so high at the moment.

“But I feel KTM, for example, were in a bit of strife because they had two riders injured. I think for the Avintia guys it didn't really come down so much to the rider and potential it was more…other reasons, including the money.”

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