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Teenage 125cc racer Rowan Miller narowly missed out on a place in the 2009 Red Bull Rookies programme despite lapping faster than most of the field on  more than one occasion.

Miller flew out to Estoril in Portugal with fellow Brits Ewan Gray, Fraser Rogers and Taylor Mackenzie, who were both selected, and started practice.

"We teamed up a little as we had all met over the course of the season and of course the first selection event at Adria," said Rowan's dad Gary.


"Finally the time came around for Row to go to the riders' box and technical area (no parents allowed), it had rained the previous night so during the morning the track had dried slowly.

Five riders had already been off during the morning so the track was obviously tricky even with all of the bikes fitted with wet tyres, but by the afternoon the track was virtually dry but the bike still on wets.

"Row went out and did his thing gradually getting quicker as the 15 mins ticked down. It gets to 17:00 before Row manages to get out again. The track is cold so fast lap times probably aren't on, but no-one told Row that!

"Last one out, he then proceeds to ride past everyone else including Fraser and Taylor (although Fraser said that the front end was all over the shop on his bike) easily the fastest out there and despite a few slides looks nice and smooth.

"We then make our way to the meeting room where they said they would announce those who they wanted back on the Saturday, I am a little surprised when they say that due to the difficult conditions they would like to invite them all back for the next day.....
"Saturday dawns and his first session comes around quickly and Row goes out and does his stuff, there was not much in any of the boys during this session and lap times must have been quite close.

"They seem to take a long time coming out of the briefing area; then Row appears, 'I had to tell them what nickname I wanted on the bike and stuff if I get through Dad, I wasn't really on it then just wanted to warm up a bit and try some different lines and stuff'."

"Once again we chill out for a bit and get some lunch, then he's back out again. Row is sliding all over the place, then he comes out of the left hander onto the back straight and the bike spits him into the air!

"Row hangs onto it (how I don't know!) and brings the bike into the pits, a few minutes go by then he comes back out of the pits. Two laps later he goes back into the pits, then he comes back out and gets an out lap then an in lap. I run down to the pits but no Row, Fraser comes out and says that because Row had two problem bikes they are letting him out for a few mins at the end of the next session, I wait around whilst the next session goes out, then true to their word they let Row out again with 10mins to go, Row takes a couple of laps and is in a big gap no one catching him and too larger gap for him to catch anyone else.

"The session ends and Row comes back in, once again it takes an age for him to appear out of the garage as he had to get measured up for the leathers. He said, 'The first bike had fuel or water coming out the bottom of the fairing, the second one was cold, it wouldn't get above 50deg so I though I'd better bring it in I didn't want it to cold seize, I couldn't really get into a good groove for that last bit'."


"We hang around for a bit and are a bit worried about making it to the airport in time to catch our flight back, they tell us that the announcement will be made at 16:30, our last check in is at 18:20 so as long as we leave by 17:00 we should be O.K, we wait in the room, 16:45 and no announcement, they are still in a locked room, we hang on until 16:55 then we have to make a dash for it.

'We rush to the airport and are queuing for check in when Niall Mackenzie says to me that he has just had a text; Taylor is in. I phone the organisers... Rowan has not made it.

"Row was disappointed he thought he had done enough but we are going to have another go next year."

Miller plans to contest the ThundersportGB GP3 series next season on a loaned TZ125 but the father-and-son team are always on the lookout for potential backers. If you can help, email Gary here

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