Jack Miller feels he is 'in the trenches' after a 'costly mistake' saw him crash out of Sunday's Portimao MotoGP round.

It meant the new Factory Ducati signing has scored just 14 out of a possible 75 points, following a pair of ninth places – due to tyre and arm pump issues – in Qatar.

Miller arrived in Portimao fresh from surgery to fix the arm pump problem, qualified fourth on the grid and was confident of setting a competitive pace in the race.

But his chances came to an end on lap 6 of 26, when he lost the front after being caught out behind the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro on the approach to the Turn 3 hairpin – his Desmosedici suddenly sliding out from under him.

"It just was right at the peak point in the brake pressure. You always get a spike and then it sort of levels off. It was right at that point," Miller said. "Aleix braked semi-early and all weekend I’ve been one of the later ones there and I just misread the thing and I had to use a little extra pressure I guess and tucked it.

"Completely my fault. Just a really silly mistake, a costly mistake.

"It was only a short race but definitely rather hectic with the stuff with Marc and Mir at the beginning.

"I made a small mistake earlier which had allowed Aleix through, when I arrived at Turn 1, with Mir in front, and I just had too much closing speed on him. I had to go a little wider than I wanted to.

"Then I tried to just sort of manage our situation the best I could. Got on my rhythm. Fabio was gone, so I knew I had to kind of knuckle down and get into it. But just a silly mistake which cost me a fair fifth."

The Australian had also suffered some strange falls, with little warning, during the daylight practice sessions in Qatar.

"I think it’s simply circumstantial," Miller said. "The Qatar crashes were what they were. Testing that front tyre and it’s nothing. But for sure they knock your confidence a little bit.

"Here, I didn’t even feel like crashing all weekend and then it really caught me off guard.

"I just was kind of getting in the rhythm of things in the race and it was one of those ones where you sort of slide along going, 'what just happened?' Then the magnitude of the situation really hits you.

"I think many of us made mistakes today. The track was not easy out there. But my crash was simply my fault. I just grabbed too much brake at the wrong point in time and the grip wasn’t there.

"For sure, I’ve had now three crashes this year. It’s not bad, but for sure I don’t want to have any and you want to finish as many races as possible.

"We’re in the trenches at the minute. I’m trying to dig my way out.

"It’s not easy. We all want to be winning. We all want to be on top. In reality it’s not always like this. It’s difficult, but I’ve been in worse positions in my career and dug my way out.

"We’ve got the pace. We’ve got the speed. We know that. I’ve just got to put it all together. It’s just one of those things. I’m really disappointed for myself, for the team. I thank them because they’ve been mega through all of this. I just want to do better by them.

"It will come. It’s only three races in. we’ve made work really hard for ourselves, but the tables will turn."

Meanwhile, team-mate Francesco Bagnaia took his second podium of the season by finishing runner-up to Quartararo on Sunday.

"Pecco rode a fantastic race today," Miller said. "He stayed very calm in the beginning. He was able to stay out of strife with the battles that were going on everywhere. I take my hat off to him.

"I hope we can be back to where I finished last year. I feel just as good on the bike as I did last year. We’ve had three races that haven’t been my best. I know I can do better.

"Yesterday, I did 18 laps and I felt fine. My pace was similar [to Bagnaia]. I knew I would have fought with those guys. I don't want to sound like a dick because I’ve watched people say, 'Yeah, I would have won the race'.

"The race is long and I didn’t make it, so I’m not going to say anything like that. But for sure, I think I could have run the pace."

Miller revealed the accident also took a toll on his healing arm.

"The [arm] felt fantastic all weekend, even in the race. Then I was planning on taking the stitches out tonight but when I fell, the stitches took themselves out. I didn’t even know, to be honest, until I took the leather suit off. Now I've had it re-stitched and we’ll start the healing process all over again."

That also means no motocross training before Jerez in two weeks' time.

"Just on the bicycle. That’s all I can do. They said try not to do any strenuous activities, and I said, 'So that means no motocross?' And they said, 'Yeah, no motocross, Jack.'

"So just back on the bicycle this week and waiting for that to heal."

 

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