Miller penalised for Quartararo block to compound factory Ducati MotoGP woes

Jack Miller drops from 11th to 14th on the grid for the Argentina MotoGP as punishment for blocking Fabio Quartararo in qualifying at Termas de Rio Hondo

Jack Miller - Ducati

Jack Miller has been demoted to 14th position on the grid for the Argentina MotoGP after he was judged to have impeded Fabio Quartararo on his fastest lap during Q2 at Termas de Rio Hondo.

On a long but sobering day for the factory Ducati Lenovo Team, Miller was the only factory rider to make it through to Q2 after Pecco Bagnaia could only manage fourth fastest in Q1 , the Italian struggling with a temperamental GP22 through the faster corners and becoming flustered around traffic.

By contrast, Miller did make it through to Q2 via FP2 but the Australian hampered himself with a low-side at Turn 1 early on, consigning him to his spare bike.

However, upon returning to the circuit, he was touring round in an effort to get adjusted to start a quick lap when he was caught in the braking zone for Turn 5 by Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo on a fast run.

Forcing the Frenchman to get up close to Miller to compensate for being off line, he subsequently out-braked himself and had to scrub the lap, much to his frustration. Reacting afterwards, though Quartararo was satisfied Miller wasn’t intending to block him, he was frustrated it stopped him from qualifying higher than sixth.

"In this kind of corner when you arrive in fourth gear really fast and have someone not in the middle [of the track], but basically on the racing line, it's disturbing," Quartararo said.

"I don’t want to complain because it can happen. Maybe he didn't see me… I think it's not fair, let's say. But it's not bad or that he made it on purpose.

"And that's it. I did my best. To be honest we know where we lose a big part [top speed] but I think I never braked as late as I did in turn 5 in my life!”

Going on to end the session 11th, Miller himself was frustrated with the three-place grid drop, which in turn promotes Brad Binder, Enea Bastianini and Bagnaia up a spot in 11th, 12th and 13th.

"I have just been told that I have a three-place grid penalty. I don't know what more they [Stewards] want from me. I swapped bikes [after the fall], swapped leathers and was trying to get comfortable on both.

"I don't understand. But anyway, it's not like I was intentionally trying to get in his way."

The latest confrontation between Miller and Quartararo comes after the Ducati rider was critical of his rival for his aggressive riding in the opening stages of the Indonesia MotoGP two weeks ago.