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Tough start for Jack Miller | Events

Jack Miller knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but he remains upbeat after the challenge of his MotoGP debut at the Qatar Grand Prix.

A year ago Miller won the Moto3 race in Doha, one of six race wins in 2014 that skyrocketed him to a HRC contract and instant promotion to the premier class. This was always going to be a lot more stressful and massive learning curve aboard a 193kW (260hp) Honda Open class bike.

While Miller’s first MotoGP race resulted in a last-lap crash and a DNF, the long game remains his priority, as it does with the LCR Team and Honda who insist there is no rush.

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Miller started 22nd after a harmless crash in qualifying and had showed impressive pace in the final free practice just 1.3sec off Andrea Dovizioso’s fast time in a tightly bunched field.

A snappy start and pushy first lap had Miller in 12th on lap one, but he ran wide on the brakes on lap two and slipped to 23rd before his last lap tangle with Karel Abraham (Honda).

“Of course it would be stupid to say I don’t care where I finish,” Miller said.

“I want to be as close to the front as I can, even though the team say there is no pressure

on me and just to learn. I want to finish races and I don’t want to be last.

“I want to be in the points as much as possible and I want some top 10 finishes. Beyond a shadow of a doubt I think I can do that later in the season.

“I’ve got to keep working and moving forwards. I’m learning and feeling more comfortable on the bike every time I go out.”

On the last lap in Qatar Miller was 19th and was bunched with fellow Honda Open riders Abraham and Eugene Laverty.

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“I got off to a good start and I was going quite good, but made a few mistakes and got a little too tight on the bike,” Miller said.

Meanwhile, back in 2014 with spoke with Miller…Then and now.

“I was in too much of a rush to pass Abraham and went too deep and lost the front. Unfortunately it took both of us out. Being on the last lap it was a shame not to finish the race, but we learnt so much and I’m looking forward to carrying on the learning process at the next race in Texas.”

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Round two MotoGP kicks-off in Austin, Texas USA on 12 April.

This article appears in AMCN Vol64 No19. Digital editions can be purchased from our iTunes store.