Ducati Lenovo’s Jack Miller crashed out of MotoGP podium potential at Portimao on Sunday afternoon taking Suzuki’s Joan Mir with him.
Having run solidly in fourth for the majority of the 25-lap race, Miller saw his podium chances beckon as Mir began to struggle in the final third. Having analysed the move in the preceding revolution, the Australian saw his chance on lap 19 only to lock the front and slide out at turn one, skittling the Suzuki out on the process.
“Yeah, unfortunate,” Miller admitted simply. “I was pushing, trying to get closer and closer to those boys. I'd managed the tyre for the first, let's say 16 laps of the race and I really started putting in some decent laps towards the end there. Caught up to, well Johann [Zarco] at the time, Johann was able to get past Mir, took a couple of goes but he got through. Mir was starting to suffer a little. I was trying for about three laps to get close enough to try a pass into turn one and I felt like I got close enough and then yeah, just as I went in, locked the front.
"Yeah, I'm sure there was some patches there, I was a fair bit on the inside. Could have touched one of them, I don't know. It was a bit strange. I felt pretty straight up and down but anyway, it's never nice crashing out of a Grand Prix and it's even worse when you take an opponent out.
"So as I've said before, and I'll say it again, I'm extremely sorry to the whole Suzuki team and especially to Joan for taking him out of a solid podium position, it's never nice.
“At the end of the day, you never want to see an opponent hurt or anything like that and when you crash in a place like that, it's never nice,’ he continued. “It was one of those things. I went to apologise, he wasn't at the truck, but again, I went to apologise again but I mean I feel it's the right thing. I'm in the wrong 100 per cent today, a racing incident and I'll cop it, I know what I did and we will move forward. Thankfully we only have to wait a couple of days to Jerez so we'll be right.”
With the majority of the grid out of contract at the end of the season, talks of who’s going where and rumoured potential moves are starting to circulate. Whether true to not. One such whisper doing the rounds this weekend was the chance of Miller returning to the LCR squad, with whom he began his premier class career back in 2015. The 27-year-old, however, was quick to shut it down.
With the Australian more receptive to supportive offerings from his Ducati manager, Davide Tardozzi.
“It's nice,” he responded. “I have a good home there at Ducati. As I said, there's been no talks with LCR whatsoever. Slow journalist week I guess.
“We haven't discussed with anyone really. Of course we're starting to now. The silly season is starting to get into full swing but we'll take our time and weigh up our options. For sure I know the Ducati, I've been here a while and I know how everything works here so it will take a bit to persuade me elsewhere.”