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14 days ago
By motogp.com

Miller: "I am still pinching myself"

Jack Miller chatted to motogp.com after the dust had settled on his maiden MotoGP™ victory at the Motul TT Assen.

Estrella Galicia’s 0,0 Marc VDS’s Jack Miller romped to victory in the wet during the restarted 12-lap MotoGP™ race at the Dutch GP. It was the Australian’s maiden win in the premier class and followed on from what had been a tricky start to the season after he had broken his leg in a training accident before the first race:

Miller finds redemption in Assen

Has it sunk in yet?
“Yeah it has sunk in for sure, but I am still pinching myself! You know what has happened, but you still can’t believe it. It’s definitely one of the best feelings I have ever had that’s for sure.”

What was going through your head during the last few laps?
“In those tricky conditions, when you really need to have your eye on the ball, I’d find myself getting a little bit distracted! When I did, I had to say to myself ‘Hey, watch it…or you won’t be leading in a minute’. Your mind just starts wandering and you start thinking about other stuff. Like seeing all of the people back in the paddock once it is all over, it’s just very easy to lose track of what you are doing. Especially in treacherous conditions like we had out there, it is just so easy to throw it all away.

There are absolutely no words I have for this guy ! So pleased for @jackmilleraus …

A photo posted by Cal Crutchlow (@calcrutchlow) on

“My main focus was just to try and keep my mind on the job right till the end and stay focused. Also sometimes you slow down a little bit and try not to take as many risks and it is more dangerous. You are not pushing the tyres as you should and you end up crashing that way, so I was just trying to focus on my lap times, setting 1’50s and bringing the bike home.”

What happened to your voice after the race?
“I had lost my voice by turn 2 after I had crossed the line, I was shouting and celebrating so much!”

How good did it feel to prove your critics wrong?
“Of course people are within their rights to question me and the project we have going here. It just felt really good to give back to Honda and the rest of the guys. We are putting in hard work, but those guys are as well, so it was great to show how much I appreciate it and that they are not wasting their time. It was nice to give a kickback to the project which they have invested in and all believed in right from the start, but maybe were starting to question.”

Through the hard times, did you ever doubt your own ability?
“At a point you really do start to doubt yourself. You start asking, ‘Do I really belong at such a high level of sport’? Stuff like that. As soon as I crossed the finish line all of that went out of my mind. I know it was in the wet, but it just proves that this season we are just getting better and better, race by race, weekend by weekend.”

Miller: "It still feels surreal"

How do you think that will change your attitude going forward?
“I think it will make me calmer, but in terms of everything else, it will be very similar, same work ethic and the same approach.”

You are the first person to win a MotoGP™ race that has come through Moto3™; do you think making the step straight up to MotoGP™ was an advantage?
“I think so. For example, Tito is a Moto2 World Champion and had been battling for that title for the last three seasons, so to see him come in and struggle as much as I did in my first season, just shows you how hard it is. I don’t think it matters which class that you come from into MotoGP as long as you have the right work ethic and attitude, anything is possible.”

You are staying with the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team for 2017; there must be a really good atmosphere within the squad at the moment…
“I have really found a home inside that team and I am delighted to be staying with them for 2017 as well. I think they also really like me and everything seems to be really good. I am in a happy place. It is a team where they really enjoy my personality; they are a special kind of team. They are so open and just want to help me in every aspect of racing, it’s great. I am really happy there!”

Highlights: Marvellous Miller wins in the wet

Have the celebrations stopped yet?
“I was back in training almost immediately. I have been riding motocross and a bit of cycling, trying to keep myself busy. I have to go to Hawaii for four days for one of my best friend's wedding, which sounds like really hard work I know. I won’t be able to get home to Australia during the summer break, so it will be good to see my friends, catch up and give them the trophy to take home. Then it’s all about the Sachsenring, another track I really like. We went well there last year and I am really looking forward to it.”