While Jack Miller would never want to be gifted a maiden home round podium, on this occasion he wasn’t letting it slip to cap a stellar Australian MotoGP for the Pramac Ducati rider.

Competing in a ‘knight in shining armour’ special livery which was meant to be a design inspired by famous Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, Miller thrilled the Phillip Island home fans with third place to become the first Australian to record a home race MotoGP podium since Casey Stoner’s final win back in 2012.

Miller had been leading the second group of riders on the final lap running in fourth place but after Maverick Vinales crashed out ahead of him at Turn 10 the Pramac Ducati rider said he wasn’t going to allow a potential home race rostrum slide through his grasp.

“As I came over Turn 9 I saw dust and my heart rate probably jumped up a little bit – 50 beats per second! I was like, ah, now I am in third,” Miller said. “Inside, inside, inside and as I went in between the two last corners it was up to full power to make sure nobody came past me on the front straight.

“You never want to see anyone crash out, especially like that with a few corners to go but it is what it is.”

Miller felt he has learnt from previous mistakes at Phillip Island as he aimed to conserve his Hard rear tyre for a late race attack. The 24-year-old duly demonstrated his maturity by not chasing rivals when they overtook him early on and stuck to his race strategy which paid off in style.

“I sat back there to go step by step,” he explained. “Valentino went flat out at the start and got a big gap and thought he was pretty keen but then he started coming back towards me, the Aprilias starting coming back and Rins passed me at Turn 2, went forward for about 10 laps and then started coming back.

“I had Dovi in front of me and thought this is it we can cruise until the end but with 10 laps to go Pecco came past and he was into it.

“It was, let’s say, extra motivation for me because you team-mate, the young rookie team-mate, here at Phillip Island I thought he was going to burn out in about three laps but he got in front and started pushing the pace. I was able to push past him and Dovi at the end.”

Miller has picked up his fourth rostrum of the season which keeps him in eighth place in the MotoGP riders’ world championship but just 12 points behind Monster Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi with two rounds to go.

 

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