Red Bull KTM racer concludes penultimate round P9 at Lusail.
The penultimate round of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship was admittedly a difficult weekend for Jack Miller, but P9 on Sunday marked a ‘semi-positive’ end to his Qatar outing.
Miller narrowly missed a direct transfer to qualifying two with the 11th fastest time set in practice on Friday, but despite dropping in the 1m52s bracket in qualifying one he was only P16 on the grid, where he would improve P12 in Saturday’s sprint race.
“A tricky day and going through Q1 is always a gamble,” Miller recalled after Saturday. “I was a tenth away from the old lap record and still end up in 16th! It was a chaotic start to the sprint and with the single-line nature of this track it is hard to do much.
“I had a good battle and got into a rhythm. The pace was not fantastic but it was consistent and profited from mistakes from others at the end. We made a lot of changes today and we’re trying to find a bit more; we’re not far away.”
A stronger Sunday from Miller saw him work his way forward across the full-length 21-lap encounter, reaching and holding P8 until the final three laps of the race when Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) regulated him back one position.
“My pace was decent and I finally made some passes to get ahead of the big group I had in front,” Miller added.”I felt better than yesterday. Semi-positive end to what had been a difficult weekend. I’m looking forward to Valencia, one of my favorite tracks.”
The final round of the current MotoGP season take place at Valencia, with Miller entering the Ricardo Tormo Circuit 11th in the championship standings.