What happened between Quartararo, Miller in Mandalika?

The Yamaha and Ducati stars spoke about an incident that happened during Sunday’s wet weather Indonesia GP

Both Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) enjoyed their best results of the season at the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia – P2 for the reigning World Champion, and P4 for the Australian.

Fabio Quartararo, Jack Miller, Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia

Both riders endured a disappointing opening weekend in Qatar for different reasons, but the duo found themselves at the sharp end of the pack in Sunday’s wet race. Miller took the lead in the early stages before falling back in the second half of the race, whereas Quartararo’s outing was basically the opposite – dropping back in the early stages, only to then pick his way back up to P2 by the chequered flag.

After the race, Quartararo and Miller were asked about an incident that happened when the Yamaha and Ducati stars were battling on track. At Turn 1 on Lap 2, Miller passed Quartararo up the inside after the latter had touched the white line on the exit of the final corner, causing him to have a poor run onto the home straight. However, the 2021 Champion’s wider, sweeping line allowed him to get on the throttle earlier on the exit of Turn 1. Contact was then made, with Miller eventually holding onto P2 going into Turn 2 around the outside.

“It was not a fight. I just passed him and he proceeded to ride his motorcycle into the side of my leg,” said Miller. “Quite clearly like he did to Johann. I don’t think it's necessary, once somebody passes you to immediately accelerate towards their front tyre. I will quite happily have a word with him about this because it's not on.

“As we saw with Johann as well, I mean he'll pass okay, that fine. The Yamaha turns well. But that doesn't mean you open the gas and aim for my front tyre, that I'm going to crash. I don’t think that's fair. He rode into the side of my leathers. I completely had better pace at that point in time. I'd come from ninth and he was on pole, and I was faster than him. So it was just an unnecessary risk that early in the race to be running into my leg. That's all.”

Quartararo then had his say in the post-race Press Conference: “I don’t care, because he is the one in the past that also had some aggressive moves. I think my move was really not aggressive. Just didn’t expect to touch. My touch was not something big. It was a really small touch. I don't know if you watch on TV, but before talking I think he better watch because I did nothing wrong.

“He was talking to me on the bike but I couldn’t hear nothing. I saw he was not happy. But, let’s say, I didn’t make any strange move like I attack him so bad or not. He just overtook me in turn one and I saw he was going wide and I just crossed the line. So, I would like to have also the comment from other riders if they see it was a no respect move or not. But from my point of view, if I make a bad move, I say sorry. That one, I have nothing to say.” 

You’d image it’ll be water under the bridge when the Argentina GP comes around. The last time MotoGP™ visited Termas de Rio Hondo was in 2019, when Miller finished fourth and rookie Quartararo picked up P8. Both riders will be hoping to better those results in 2022. 

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