Miller: The most boring race of my life

Jack Miller brands his ninth place at the Dutch Grand Prix “not good enough … I’m not happy at all.”
Miller: The most boring race of my life

Jack Miller didn’t mince his words in the wake of a disappointing outing at the Dutch Grand Prix, calling the 26-lap affair the “most boring race of my life” in which his ninth place was “not good enough.”

The Australian battled the high wind on Sunday, which made switching direction on Ducati’s Desmosedici machines “near on impossible”. In the later laps excessive tyre wear caused excessive spin, leading his bike to “start bucking” and “getting head shakes … It wasn’t that much fun,” he pointed out.

Miller was also bemused by the Ducati’s inability to run Michelin’s softest rear rubber over race distance in the previous two outings, a considerable weapon of the Desmosedici machines in recent years. Instead he, Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci went with the hard rear.

“I made my thoughts clear to the guys in blue [Michelin] and to other people, just to see what the f**k is actually going on here because it’s two races in a row that we can’t use the soft at all,” he said. “No way.”

“I’m not cheerful,” said a downcast Miller, frustrated by the twelve second gap to lead Ducati Dovizioso in fourth. “I’ve had better weekends, that’s for sure.

“That was s**t. It was the most boring race of my life. I was just sat there. I tried to follow Crutch [Cal Crutchlow] and [Franco] Morbidelli in the first couple of laps. I did a 1m 44.5s, a 44.8s.

“But already on the third or fourth lap I was getting warning lights saying I was going to f**k the right hand side of the tyre up. Especially with the wind I was not able to stick to a line.

“I was pushed off line. I could not turn. Turning is already one of our weak points. With the wind it was just near on impossible. You have no idea how many times at turn 15 I was off on that marble-y sort of stuff just trying to hold it up.

“I was lucky I held it up there. It was just one of those races when I realised quite early on I wasn’t going to be able to follow Crutch so I set my own pace – 35 lows. I managed to get that for most of the race and then towards the end it started to get even more difficult.

“Down the back straight with spin and then especially with an angle the thing would just spin and start bucking, getting head shakes. It wasn’t really that much fun, I can tell you.

“The biggest drama I had was just no feeling of contact on the right hand side on the rear tyre the whole way through. The tyre wasn’t fantastic but it wasn’t bad. Every time I put it on the right hand side in turn one and turn three, turn eight, ten, it would come around on me. Doing that was unsettling the front.

“Because we were using the soft [front], I wasn’t able to fucking push it so it was fine. There was no point in the race when I thought, ‘I’m pushing the front here’ because there was never enough corner speed to push the thing.”

How did he explain the difference to the factory riders? “I don’t know,” he said. “I think they were on similar tyres [Dovizioso, Petrucci chose with medium front, Miller the soft, all on hard rear].

“Petrucci is normally quite strong in these conditions, with the wind he’s able to muscle the thing around even more than Dovi and I. It seemed he struggled at the end of the race as well.

“Ten seconds between Petrucci and myself is not good enough; I’m not happy with that. But I didn’t feel comfortable. We needed some points today. I managed to do that. I never lost a position over the race so I’ll take it.

“[But] it was. 26 seconds behind [race winner Maverick Viñales]? Not good enough. S**t. Really, it’s s**t. I’m not happy at all. I made my thoughts clear to the guys in blue and to other people, just to see what’s actually going on here because it’s two races in a row that we can’t use the soft at all – no way.

“Three laps and the thing’s done. Well, the tyre life’s there. The weight’s there. In theory you can make the race distance. But your race pace is going to be all over the place. So it’s go with the stable, steady hard option.”

Riding in such circumstances was frustrating for the 24-year old, who has made such a bright start to 2019. “You’re not able to push so you’re riding around with margin everywhere knowing how much faster you can go, for example into eight or corners like that,” he said.

“You’re going that slow into the corner that when you come out in third gear it’s almost too long. It doesn’t want to pull it. You’re already feeling it coming around on you. You feel it and think, ‘That’s me. That’s all I got.’ So it’s frustration for the whole race. You’re riding to a number, to a lap time. That’s all you can do.”