Mega third-place result for Pramac Racing star in Australian thriller.
A heroic podium finish for Phillip Island fan favourite Jack Miller lit up the 2019 Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix this afternoon, his third-place result feeling ‘a little bit’ like a victory for the Queenslander.
Miller, 24, has stood on the top step of the podium in Moto3 at Phillip Island in 2014, however, this was his first-career premier class rostrum at home and marked the fourth top-three finish of the season for the Australian sensation.
A final lap crash from Spaniard Maverick Vinales bumped Miller into the top three with only three turns remaining, then pushing into overdrive in a bid to fend of impressive Pramac Racing Ducati teammate Francesco Bagnaia across the line. And that’s what he did, marking his hard tyre selection work over race distance.
“I saw [Marc Marquez, Vinales and Cal Crutchlow] bolt at the front and knew they were on soft tyres,” Miller recalled. “I managed the race, tried not to push too early like I’ve done in the past and yeah, I got to fourth in the end there. I thought ‘fourth was probably going to be the best you can do here, just defend your position’.
“And then, to my surprise on the last lap there, I just saw dust over the top of Lukey and I thought ‘who’s that?’, saw it was Maverick and I said, ‘holy… I’m in third now’. I just defended the last two corners and here we are!
“It’s amazing, we did a lot of work all weekend trying to establish a base-setting without much track time, so thanks to the Pramac team – they really had to work overtime this weekend, changing the livery and everything. It’s not a win, but it feels like it a little bit.”
It was an electric result for the emotion-charged Miller, joining reigning world champion Marquez and close friend Crutchlow on the podium in front of a buzzing crowd of Australian fans. He’s now eighth in the championship standings, now within 22 points of top Independent Fabio Quartararo after the latter crashed out today.