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Dreams do come true. And today it was the turn of Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller to do something he has always wanted as the Australian stood on the MotoGP™ rostrum in front of his adoring home fans at the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Leading up to Sunday, it wasn’t quite the home Grand Prix that Miller would have been looking forward to. Rain on Friday and horrendous wind on Saturday that led to a MotoGP™ qualifying postponement wasn’t ideal for anyone, especially as Miller will have wanted to ride his home circuit – a track everyone adores – all weekend, without no such troubles. Nevertheless, after a slightly under-par Sunday morning qualifying that saw him start P9, ‘Jackass’ pulled it out the bag in the race.
On the podium at home: "I've always wanted to do this!"
But he was made to work for it, and it wouldn’t have been a podium without a little slice of luck along the way - not that Miller cared. An almighty eight rider scrap for P4 prevailed between him, teammate Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini teammates Andrea Iannone and Aleix Espargaro, the two Team Suzuki Ecstar machines and Valentino Rossi as a classic played out on the Island. Miller eventually claimed P3 on the run to the line after beating Bagnaia by half a tenth to pick up his fourth podium of the season, his first on Australian shores since winning the Moto3™ race back in 2014.
“I can’t thank the team enough, it’s been a difficult, trying weekend,” reflected an over the moon, croaky-voiced Miller. “Not only being flat out with all the PR stuff and whatnot, but the weather has been atrocious. It was amazing on Thursday, turned rubbish Friday, and then turned even worse Saturday. Thank god it came around and we were able to get a nice dry race in. The boys had to work overtime, massive overtime to get a decent setting together with what limited track time we had.
Post-race Press Conference: Pramac Generac Australian GP
“If we didn’t have wet we had wind you know so just trying to do laps was impossible because you’d get intermittent showers coming through, you couldn’t really get out there and do a long run so the boys did a really amazing job. Can’t thank them enough and I didn’t expect to be on the podium, but I’ll take it.”
That’s Miller’s fourth rostrum of the season as we now look ahead to the final two races of 2019. Malaysia and Valencia come and go before the Australian gets his hands on a 2020 Desmosedici. One, maybe two more podiums inbound before the season is over? Tough, but definitely possible for the 24-year-old who will have another little injection of confidence for the last leg of 2019.
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