News 7 Nov 2022

Late Valencia fall denies Miller fairy tale Ducati ending

Australian concludes 2022 fifth in MotoGP championship standings.

Image: Supplied.

Australia’s Jack Miller was denied a fairy tale ending to his stint with Ducati in MotoGP when he crashed out of podium contention in the closing stages of the final round at Valencia.

Miller – who has been historically strong at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit – secured a front-row start courtesy of a 1m29.834s, which was just over two-tenths shy of Jorge Martin’s (Prima Pramac Racing) qualifying benchmark.

The number 43 overcame early aggression from championship contender Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) to break away with the lead group and was running third behind race-winner Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) when disaster struck with four laps to go and he crashed out of the race.

“I’m really sorry about the crash today,” Miller said. “I was pushing hard because I knew Aleix [Espargaro] didn’t finish the race, and 25 points would put me ahead of him in the standings, which was my goal.

“Unfortunately, the start didn’t go exactly as I expected, and it was really hard to overtake today, except by taking advantage of other people’s mistakes. However, I am very happy for Pecco [Francesco Bagnaia], who has had an extraordinary year, never giving up and proving to everyone that he is the best.

“My last race with Ducati brings with it some sadness because, with this team, I had a great time and built fantastic relationships with all the people in the team, but now I will focus on my near future.”

Miller ultimately finished the 2022 MotoGP World Championship in P5, with seven podiums and a race victory to his credit. He joins Red Bull KTM Factory Racing from next year as testing commences on Tuesday at Valencia.