Ducati Lenovo’s Jack Miller heads to Misano hunting for third in the MotoGP standings as his teammate fights for the championship.
With glory on both sides of the garage still up for grabs in the closing stage of 2021’s nail biting season, Miller says there has been no talk of team orders, officially. Pecco Bagnaia is still in with a shout of stealing the MotoGP crown from rival Fabio Quartararo if he’s successful at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this time out, however, with the Australian firmly in the top three fight - 26 points off Suzuki’s Joan Mir - he admits he’s focused on the bigger picture.
“For sure it is a crunch point, [for Bagnaia] I think but no, there’s no official anything at this point in time. I think it’s more, it’s important for Ducati to try and be, at least - if worst comes to worst - at least in the top three, both bikes, and we have a good chance of that. I need to pull my finger out and for sure I can get also some support coming back my way in the races to come.
“I’d love to be able to take away a medal this year,” he continued. “With the ups and downs we’ve had, it would be fantastic.
“I feel like I’m in good shape, I feel the last couple of weekends, much like it was the beginning of the year, I feel like I’ve got everything there, it’s just putting it all together has been the difficult thing. But we’ve been able to do it before and we’ll be able to do it again.
“For me, coming into these last three races, for sure it’s really important that I take the maximum points as possible and just try to be there all race, pretty much is the main goal. Because as we showed, we’ve had speed at every Grand Prix pretty much this year, it’s just whether or not we’re able to keep it there on Sunday that’s been the issue.”
MotoGP’s second visit to the Adriatic Coast comes at a much later date than the paddock is used to, bringing with it lower temperatures and differing track conditions to add to the variables of Sunday’s 27-lap race.
“I think it’ll be different,” he said reflecting on the second visit to Misano. “We did the test here also, after the Grand Prix, so we were definitely able to have plenty of track time.
“I kinda like the format of going away and then coming back rather than having the two back to back, because it gives you a time to think or forget or whatever. So, I like this style.
“The test was good. We were able to do a lot of laps in the test, a lot of good times - as you always are because there’s a lot of rubber on the ground, etc, etc. But anyway, I felt pretty strong here last time, the bike works really well here so I know what to expect. I know what I need to work on from last time and fingers crossed, everything else goes well.”