Jack Miller lived up to his prediction of a Motegi podium challenge, at least during the early stages of the Japanese MotoGP.

The Pramac Ducati rider rocketed from the outside of the second row and climbed to third place, behind Marc Marquez and Fabio Quartararo, within a few laps.

But the Australian – who had put long runs on the same soft rear tyre in practice - suddenly began to struggle, fading all the way back to tenth by chequered flag.

"We had an issue with the rear grip," Miller explained. "It came around lap 5 or 7. Since then I was more-or-less in survival mode.

"I don't know what happened. I felt really comfortable, really strong, I was just trying to stay with Marc and Fabio and then all of a sudden I couldn't push any more.

"So we have to go through the data and understand what went wrong and where.

"Really disappointed, but we brought it home. It's not where we wanted to be after fighting for the podium at the start. I believe we had more today, but we weren't able to show it."

Andrea Dovizioso went on to give Ducati a podium finish with third place, using the medium rear tyre.

Miller remains eighth in the world championship but his hopes of beating Quartararo to top satellite honours now look to be over, with the Petronas Yamaha rider 48-points ahead with only 75 points remaining.

MotoGP now heads straight for Miller's home event at Phillip Island, which starts on Friday morning.

Miller's rookie team-mate Francesco Bagnaia finished the Motegi race in 13th place.

 

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