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"We had more" – Miller's podium charge halted by grip issues

The Australian was left frustrated by "rear grip issues" abruptly ending any hope of a top-three finish in Japan

Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller eventually crossed the line at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan in tenth place, but that in no way tells the story of his race after he was hampered by a lack of grip, unsurprisingly to his frustration.  After another dynamite start from the outside of the second row of the grid, the Ducati man then settled into a rhythm in what appeared to be a comfortable third place.

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However, with seven laps completed the Australian’s pace dropped by over half a second instantaneously as a result of “rear grip issues”, meaning he began to slip backwards at quite a rate. Forced to enter “survival mode”, a fourth podium of 2019 quickly moved out of sight despite feeling he could’ve stuck with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT).

“I had an issue with rear grip," said Miller. "It came at around lap five or seven, I think. After that, I was more or less in survival mode. I don’t know what happened really. I felt really comfortable, really strong. I was just trying to stay with Marc and Fabio and then all of a sudden, I couldn’t push anymore.

“So, we have to go through the data and understand what went wrong and where. Really disappointed but we brought it home, not where we wanted to be though after fighting for a podium at the start. I believe we had more today, but we weren’t able to show it.”

Fortunately for Miller, there’s very little time for him to sit and stew over what might have been at Motegi with his home Grand Prix now just a few days away. What better place for the Pramac Ducati man to bounce back then at Phillip Island, where he will try to cut Quartararo’s now 38 points advantage in the Independent Team Rider title chase.

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