Jack Miller left Australia with a bittersweet feeling. The Townsville driver, newly married and with two consecutive podium finishes in the first two rounds of the Asian tour (victory in Japan and second in Thailand), aspired to return to the podium in his home race , but Alex Márquez ended up taking him ahead before to reach the halfway point of the test.
54 points behind his teammate, Pecco Bagnaia, Miller lost his remote chances for the title, but he still has a chance of taking third place overall , currently in the possession of Aleix Espargaró.
That is why Jack will take to the track in Sepang with one goal: to win. “My goal remains the same,” he told reporters on the Thursday before the Malaysian Grand Prix.
“We can still take third in the championship. Again, it’s another long shot, but the other drivers aren’t exactly coming off their best races, so I have a good chance of making up points,” added the Australian. “I think my main goal is to try and win as many points as possible.”
But how does that strategy square with Bagnaia’s title fight and possible Ducati team orders? Miller assured that, if they need him, he will have no problem lending his shoulder , despite the fact that next year he will not continue at Borgo Panigale.
“Don’t get me wrong. If Pecco needs help or whatever, I’ll be there. But like I said, this is an individual sport after all and I’m going to try to do my best,” he explained.
However, Miller predicts a quieter weekend in the red box, thanks to Pecco’s larger overall lead. “I think this weekend will be a bit different, I will be able to focus more on my own race,” he said.
And, as he commented on Phillip Island, he won’t do “anything stupid”. “Whether it’s for a championship or 15th or 16th, the last person you want to crash is your teammate. So you have to drive carefully, at least that’s what I do.”
For him, finishing third or fourth is not a trivial matter, since the difference between the two results “is quite considerable” in terms of economic bonus. “[The money] is spread from third position. Last year I finished fourth and didn’t get anything.”
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