Miller eyes MotoGP podium in Australia

Wednesday, 23 October 2019:

JACK MILLER of Australia and Alma Pramac Racing at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Phillip Island, Australia.
JACK MILLER of Australia and Alma Pramac Racing at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Phillip Island, Australia.


Australian MotoGP ace Jack Miller is confident an elusive podium finish at his home grand prix is within reach at Phillip Island this weekend.

The Queenslander has three third-placed finishes in an impressive season that leaves him eighth in the world championship standings heading into the Australian MotoGP.

After qualifying strongly, Miller led early in his past two attempts at conquering the famed island circuit before falling to seventh on both occasions - his best finish at the track.

He challenged for the lead in Japan last week before tyre wear issues with his Pramac Racing Ducati dropped him down the order to 10th.

But that hasn't dented Miller's confidence ahead of his fifth grand prix on home soil.

"I think the podium is the main goal of ours this weekend and it's an achievable goal, for sure," Miller told AAP.

"I'm excited, it's a key grand prix of the season that I look forward to the most, and I can't wait to get underway.

"We had some tyre issues in Japan but it wasn't anything too bad and I'm feeling really confident.

"The bike has generally been a big improvement on last year, so I'm really excited to see how it goes around the island."

Spanish superstar Marc Marquez has already wrapped up this year's world championship, claiming his eighth world title with a win on his Repsol Honda in Thailand with four races left on the calendar.

Miller is second in the independent riders classification and can still catch recently-crowned rookie of the year, French sensation Fabio Quartararo.

It would be a fitting reward for effort for Miller, who has made great strides forward.

The 24-year-old's three podiums - in Austin, the Czech Republic and Aragon - and his efforts to regularly qualify on the first two rows of the grid have made his fifth season in the premier class his best yet.

It also helped solidify his future with Pramac Racing, who extended his contract into next year and put him on a GP20 Ducati - the same used by factory team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci.

"I'm really happy to be in this position, just knowing what I'm going into next year," Miller said.

"The boys at Ducati are working really hard on making the bike more and more competitive.

"I think we're in a good way at the minute.

"A few podiums have definitely helped our confidence grow as a team and I feel like I'm maturing as a rider as well.

"I really want to make the most out of this last little bit of the season and be ready to start next year off as strong as we are right now."

JACK MILLER'S 2019 MOTOGP SEASON AT A GLANCE:

* Age: 24

* Team: Pramac Racing Ducati

* World championship: 8th (125 points)

* Best result: 3rd (R3 - GP of the Americas, R10 - Czech Republic, R14 - Aragon)

* Best qualifying: 2nd (R10 - Czech Republic)

* DNF: 4 (R1 - Qatar, R4 - Jerez, R6 - Mugello, R11 - Austria)






AAP






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