A frustrated Jack Miller conceded he “wasn’t able to deliver” on the expectations set by himself at the British Grand Prix as a hair-raising issue at the first corner coupled with a chronic lack of rear grip limited him to eighth place.

The Australian had high hopes for the 20-lap affair after dramatically qualifying on the front row at the very end of Q2. But Miller soon found he was unable to disengage Ducati’s holeshot device before the first corner, meaning he spent the next seconds frantically attempting to recalibrate the balance of his bike. 

Having relinquished three positions on the run to turn two, the 24-year old soon set about reeling in Franco Morbidelli and Cal Crutchlow ahead. But a puzzling lack of rear grip did for those hopes, and Miller was powerless to fend off an advancing Danilo Petrucci in the closing laps.

“My start was good but I couldn’t get my holeshot device back up,” said Miller, eighth and 20 seconds off race winner Alex Rins at the chequered flag. “So I was going all the way through turn one, two and three like a chopper.

“I was trying my best to get it to pop up and people were going around me left, right and centre. It wasn’t ideal but anyway, I struggled with grip from the start until the end.

“We have to understand what was going on, more so with entry than anywhere else. There was no contact, let’s say, on the rear tyre and then there were some, let’s say, pieces missing at the end.

“We need to understand why and what we need to do to improve that. That was the biggest thing at the end, trying to battle with Crutch. Then Petrucci joined in. It just wasn’t ideal.

“I was trying to fight with him in the last lap but I couldn’t. In those fast changes of direction after turn one I nearly lost the rear. It came around on me as I pulled over onto the left side of the tyre. After that I said, ‘You boys go for it.’”

Asked to explain why he endured the early drama with the holeshot device, Miller offered, “Generally at places like this I don’t use it. I thought we had enough transfer on the base but I had doubts about it.

“It depends [on the track]. At Phillip Island we can’t use it. If we’re a bit further behind here then we could use it. Dovi was able to get transfer no problem. Being so close to the corner, I barely had to brake. I was trying to grab extra brake.

“Being at the front of the group you don’t want to be grabbing too much. You’re checking 20 odd bikes behind you. It wasn’t my best start, that’s for sure.

“It was quite scary heading down towards turn three on an orange county chopped trying to get it to transfer over, grabbing big handfuls of brakes all the time.

“I had to do a bit of a ‘stoppie’ and trying to get it to pop up in a strange spot. I managed to get it to come up in the end. But it was one of those things.”

On the grip issues that hampered him from the first lap, Miller said, “The front felt great the whole way through. There were no real dramas. The track was in good condition. Just front start until the end I just didn’t have the grip some of the other guys had, especially Cal and Morbidelli through the final corner.

"Already on the first lap coming around on the front straight here I watched [them] have smoke come off their tyres. They just pulled out this massive gap. And I thought, ‘Holy shit, what am I doing wrong here?’ I was trying everything. I just wasn’t able to get anything through it.

“They were able to pull a big gap on me there. I was able to claw it back in through the first sector but it just got worse and worse as the race went on. Not ideal, but hey, it’s some extra points for the championship. We were close. We weren’t in the fight today.

“I really was just focussed on trying to catch Crutch up until lap nine. I looked at the lapboard and thought, ‘Holy shit, it’s only half-way through.’ I managed to get through it. Like I said, I brought home some points. But I wanted a little extra today, that’s for sure. But we weren’t able to deliver on that.”

Asked whether be felt his grip issues were related to his specific tyres or bike set-up, the Australian smiled, “I can’t really say too much.”

 

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