Honda fined Jack Miller for ‘shoey’ at party… so he did it on podium

Jack Miller says his famous 'shoey' celebration for winning his maiden MotoGP race at Assen was aimed as a 'dig' against his then-employers Honda

Jack Miller - Marc VDS Honda, Assen - 1200

Jack Miller has given an insight into the fractious relationship he held with Honda during the early stages of his MotoGP career by revealing his famous ‘shoey’ celebration on the podium at Assen was an intentional ‘dig’ at the company after a fine.

Miller made the leap from Moto3 to MotoGP in 2015 with a ride in the Open sub-category on a Honda-powered FTR chassis before spending two seasons with the Marc VDS outfit in 2016 and 2017.

Though he suffered a troubled time during those three years managing only a handful of top ten finishes, he peaked with a shock victory in treacherous conditions at Assen in 2016.

He subsequently toasted his success with the fabled ‘shoey’ celebration on the podium, an Australian custom of drinking an alcohol beverage out of a shoe. It became something of a legend with Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo mirroring him when he clinched his first victory, while other drivers have also copied him in turn over time.

However, Miller has now revealed the celebration was aimed as a ‘dig’ against Honda after he was fined for doing one at a party, a direct consequence of the company being unhappy with his ‘misbehaving’ lifestyle while he was racing for them.

"[The shoey] was a slight dig, because I was having trouble in my first year in MotoGP with misbehaving and whatnot,” he told BT Sport.

"I got a fine off Honda one night doing a shoey at one of the after parties. When I won, [I thought] 'well, they can't give me a fine for this!'."

Miller also revealed he didn’t want to restart the race he’d go on to win due to the poor weather conditions. He was running seventh when the red flag was thrown, a result he would have been happy with at the time. 

"When we got that rain in the centre part of the race, there was so much of it. I've never seen rain like it apart from maybe up here in tropical North Queensland where we get the proper rainforest rain.

"But down the back straight at Assen, we probably had two inches of standing water on the track. Being on a GP bike with a heap of power, she was just spinning, you couldn't open the gas. So that was pretty dodgy.

"Honestly, I was stoked with the result when they threw the red flag. I was seventh or whatever and was like 'yeah, I'll take that, I'm happy as Larry'. Then they told me I had to go back out again, I was like 'I don't want to go back out again, I'm stoked with seventh, I'll keep it'."

His win at Assen remains his only victory in MotoGP to date, though Miller enjoyed his best season overall in 2019 with five podiums on the satellite Pramac Ducati. He is one of the strong candidates to move up to the factory Ducati team in 2020.