Jack Miller’s Argentina woes were firmly in the past on Sunday night as the Ducati Lenovo rider stood on the COTA MotoGP podium.
Having led for the majority of Austin’s 20-lap race, Miller was forced to settle for third at the flag, after first Enea Bastianini then Alex Rins denied him his hard-fought spoils. Despite that however, the Australian was buzzing from the day’s achievement and eager to replicate it as the paddock packs up and ships back to Europe.
“It's lovely to be back on the box, first time this year,” Miller said from the Circuit of the Americas.
“I was thinking it was gonna be a gold one up in the trophy cabinet but it wasn't to be today. I threw everything I had at it, was pushing from the beginning.
“It was a long, lonely old race out the front there,” he admitted. “Just trying to push away at my laptimes. I started to struggle a little bit at the end and Enea was able to come past. Then I made too many mistakes once I got passed by Enea, just getting sucked in on the braking zones and stuff like that. That's kind of what cost me the second place as well so a bit disappointed about that. But, nevertheless we had a solid weekend and we needed that.
“It was nice to get back on the box, few more points on the board. So we'll go into the European part of the campaign now on reasonable terms and hopefully be able to kick things off.”
Having struggled for the entirety of the Argentina weekend last time out, a front row start and a podium in Texas was quite the comeback for the 27-year-old.
“Generally seems to be the way with me,” Miller reflected. “I need to get put right down to the bottom before I really get a kick up the ass and pull my finger out. I don't know.
“Last week was one of those weekends you just want to forget and this weekend is one of those ones you want to remember. We'll just try to keep more of these and less of them!”
The final laps found Miller stuck in a determined podium battle with Suzuki Ecstar’s Rins as the action rammed up in the closing stages. The Spaniard’s favoured turn-11 move proved briefly successful before the Ducati struck back, while a move on the penultimate corner dealt the final blow and he was forced to concede for third.
“I rate battling with Alex,” Miller confirmed. “We've done it for a long time now and it's always clean and it's always nice to fight with him.
“It was a good scrap at the end there, both him and I tussling.
“I was trying to ride as protective as I could but he fired it in and no, I just was struggling a little bit on the left hand side of the rear tyre. I thought 'I'll be able to square this up. Maybe he'll go a bit wide' but honestly as soon as I grabbed the gas, she went sideways and didn't go forwards.
“I was trying to set it up again in the last corner, it just didn't happen but he rode a fantastic race. Everyone did. Hats off to the boys. They did a great job and yeah, hopefully next year!"