‘The sharks are smelling blood’ in Marquez’s absence…

Jack Miller says the 'sharks' are smelling blood in the knowledge hot favourite for the 2020 MotoGP World Championship may be ruled out of the fight

Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda [1200]
Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda [1200]

Jack Miller says MotoGP’s young generation ‘sharks’ are beginning to smell blood in the water in the wake of Marc Marquez’s injury, one that is now confirmed to be ruling him out of this weekend’s Czech Republic MotoGP in Brno.

The Spaniard has been the dominant force in MotoGP racing for the six of the past seven years, with the 2019 MotoGP campaign proving to be his most comprehensive so far with 18 first or second place results, and just a single DNF.

However, with the coronavirus delay allowing him to escape the prospect of starting the 2020 MotoGP season in March with a shoulder injury – the legacy of a post-season accident in 2019 – his spectacular arm-fracturing crash in the opening Jerez event has instead set him back further.

With the news that he won’t compete in this weekend’s Czech Republic MotoGP leaving him pointless for a third race in succession, the prospect of a new MotoGP champion is becoming increasingly realistic.

To date Fabio Quartararo has capitalised fully in only his second season of MotoGP, winning the first two races to give him a maximum 50 points, while Maverick Vinales’ brace of seconds earns him a hefty 40 points too.

With this in mind, Miller says Marquez extended absence has both warned riders of the implications of making a mistake in races, as well as opening up a wealth of unexpected opportunities.

“This year is going to be about who can collect the most points, because if you make a mistake there is no time to get back what you’ll lose. The main thing is to be keep putting points on the board, no mistakes. 

“Three of the top guys are struggling with injury, it definitely the guys’ ears up, we never want to see another rider get hurt but at the same time it is an opportunity for us young guys to have a go at this championship. 

“We’re sharks, we’re smelling blood in the water.”

Jack Miller - Pramac Ducati [1200]
Jack Miller - Pramac Ducati [1200]

Is Jack Miller among the 2020 MotoGP title favourites?

It’s interesting that Miller refers himself as a ‘young shark’ circling a rider like Marquez when he’s been in MotoGP since 2015, but it’s a reflection of how youthful he was when he made the leap from Moto3 to the premier class

While Miller’s ascension to the front has perhaps been a touch slower than his expectations would have you believe, they have progressed in the correct direction and there is an exciting amount of raw talent on display an increasing amount.

In some ways he is the ideal choice for Ducati as the anti-Dovi in that he does probably have that ability to wring extra from the Ducati when he needs to, even if unlike the Italian pushing closer to the limit means he oversteps it. His crash out of potential podium in Jerez demonstrated this.

With this in mind it’s hard to see Miller in the title fight right now even without Marquez around, with Quartararo, Vinales and Dovizioso considered the more dependable choice.

Still, there is always next year when he throws his leg over the full-fat Ducati Desmo…

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