Features 28 Sep 2022

Countdown: Jack Miller's MotoGP wins

Detailing the Queenslander's four premier class victories so far.

With the Australian GP less than three weeks away, Jack Miller’s dominance at Motegi comes as a timely boost in the build-up to Phillip Island. While the Queenslander’s win in The Land of the Rising Sun was arguably his most convincing in MotoGP, it certainly wasn’t his only spectacular performance in the premier class and he has four race wins to his credit. In this Countdown, we chronologically reflect on Miller’s victories at the highest level of Grand Prix motorcycle racing as the world championship moves to Thailand this weekend.

Image: Supplied.

4. Dancing in the Assen rain:
Miller’s maiden win in the MotoGP World Championship came in the soaked conditions at Assen, 2016. Honda mounted with Team Estrella Galicia Marc VDS 0,0 at the time, the Queenslander held his nerve when rainfall brought out the red flag after lap 14. In the re-started 12-lap affair, Miller charged his way to the front and ultimately bested Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) to take a nail-biting victory. The achievement came in just his second season in the premier class and silenced many critics on his jump from Moto3 straight to MotoGP.

3. Capitalising at Jerez :
Last year at Jerez marked Miller’s first victory with Ducati and importantly, his first MotoGP win in dry conditions. Pole-sitter Fabio Quartaro (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was the hot favourite at the Spanish circuit, but suffered severely from arm pump and dropped back through the field rapidly as it intensified.  Miller was the first to capitalise and regained the lead on lap 16 to ultimately score a maximum 25 points, taking the chequered flag with a 1.9s advantage over Ducati Lenovo Team teammate Francesco Bagnaia. Critically for Miller, the result got his season on track after a challenging first three rounds.

Image: Supplied.

2 Le Mans flag-to-flag masterstroke:
Fresh off his victory at Jerez, Miller excelled in the dynamic Le Mans conditions to take a spectacular flag-to-flag win in France. The 27-lap bout commenced on slicks but after five laps the rain meant wet weather tyres were the most suitable option. The number 43 emerged out of pits P3 but was handed a double long-lap penalty for speeding in pitlane. At this point, Miller trailed Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) – the leading trio having a sizeable advantage ahead of the rest of the field. Marquez crashed out of contention on lap eight, and with a clear pace advantage, Miller was able to overcome time lost from the penalty and take the lead with 16 laps to go from Quartararo. Despite being on a soft option wet and track drying in the closing stages, the Ducati rider notched his second P1 of the season, with Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) showing strong pace in the closing stages with the medium option wets to finish 3.9s from the lead. The victory elevated Miller to P4 in the standings, just 16 points from leader Quartararo.

1. Dominance in the Land of the Rising Sun:
There’s no doubt that last weekend at Motegi was Miller’s most convincing MotoGP victory. Starting from P7 on the grid following a drenched qualifying session, ‘Thriller’ translated the pace shown throughout the dry sessions on the hard option tyres to utterly dominate the Japanese GP. Taking the lead on lap three, there was no stopping Miller who stretched out his advantage to over five seconds throughout the race, ultimately crossing the line 3.4s ahead of future teammate Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). With the Australian GP fast approaching, the achievement puts the Ducati Lenovo Team rider in a position of strength for Phillip Island and a strong home result.