Jack Miller feels any realistic chance of fighting for the MotoGP title was over before a ninth place at Aragon on Sunday saw him sink 39 points from the top.

The Pramac Ducati rider was just 12 points from the top when a tear-off was sucked into his engine at Misano then, two races later, he suffered a mechanical breakdown while fighting for a podium at Le Mans.

"I already gave up that ghost after last weekend," Miller said of his title chances. "It was a long shot anyway.

"Today's [9th] position doesn’t reflect the race so much. We were only nine seconds from victory, but we were in ninth position. That’s not ideal if you want to be in the championship, but I’m not in the championship.

"After last weekend [at Le Mans] losing a solid hole of points in a race that we really could have done well, my main focus now is just on trying to finish the season strong, get back on the podium and as many points as possible."

A perfect culmination to his Pramac career would be to hand the team a first MotoGP victory with Ducati machinery in the remaining four rounds, Pramac having been without a win since Makoto Tamada in 2004 under the Camel Honda banner.

"For Pramac as well, my goal is to try and get them a win this season," said Miller, winner of the wet 2016 Dutch TT on satellite Honda machinery.

"I haven’t had one in a long time. We’re running out of opportunities. But eight riders have now won races this season, so anything can happen."

Miller's hopes of a strong finish on Sunday were dealt a heavy blow when the expected drop in grip for the soft rear tyre didn't materialise, meaning Miller and the other Ducatis on the medium didn't gain any benefit.

"Everything was going more or less well. I saved the tyre for the end expecting the soft to drop off, but it didn’t seem to happen. The only guy who seemed to suffer with this was Quartararo. The rest of them didn’t seem to have any issues," Miller said.

"On the opening laps I seemed to struggle with grip compared to the others, which is expected when you’re on a medium. I was just trying to be patient in the race but it just didn’t seem to come to us.

"We have to analyse now. Zarco had the soft on and it seemed to be like he had some decent grip there at the end. So we have to understand what it was. Maybe the warm temperature this afternoon made the soft last better.

"Unsure really what else [it could be]. From what we learned throughout the weekend apart from the race, I couldn’t do more than five consistent laps on the soft rear. It seemed to drop away so quickly and have massive tearing.

"So it’s quite strange to see it so consistent and have such good performance from it today. As I said, we just have to analyse. We come back here again next week and understand if it can work for us or not."

Team-mate Francesco Bagnaia crashed out.

 

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