Jack Miller (KTM): “Was hired as a racer”

After setting the best time on Friday, Jack Miller secured fourth place in the sprint race in Portimão and thus fourth place in the World Championship. Like his MotoGP colleagues, the Australian Red Bull KTM works rider had to struggle with the sometimes violent wind on Saturday. “It was entertaining, I had a constant pulse of 190,” he said. “The wind was difficult to predict. When the bikes passed me in Turn 1, I had to stay eight feet off the curb because the wind blew so hard against the front that you were blown at least two meters to the side. But there were no incidents in my group. It was a pleasure to drive.”

“Thriller Miller” came to the Algarve for the season opener with 17th and 18th place after the tests in Sepang and Portimão. “I read in 95 percent of the reports that we don’t stand a chance with the KTM. But the media forgot: testing is testing and racing is racing. I’m not involved here as a test driver, but as a racing driver. So I’m not going to risk my neck and neck in a test two weeks before the first Grand Prix. I know the strengths and weaknesses of the bike. Our engineers were able to work in the direction that I like, that I was looking for.”

“I wasn’t completely happy with the winter tests,” added Jack. “But then we made progress with the set-up of the engine brake and the other electronic systems. The KTM technicians were able to give me a bike that brakes very well and doesn’t slide around much when braking.”

«Since we had a headwind of at least 15 km/h in the sprint, we can’t yet judge exactly what the top speed of the various manufacturers is like. My KTM has unbelievable grip when going through the finish corner, which gave me excellent drive and I came out onto the home straight with a lot of speed. If I then had a slipstream, I could overtake.”

But Miller knows that the Ducati still have a little more speed. “But we’ve made massive progress in terms of engine drivability,” he assured. You could see my bike had incredible rear grip. And not only that, I really demanded a lot from the soft rear tires. But he did well in those twelve laps.”

In Sunday’s 25-lap race, Miller will use the Hard rear tire. “I haven’t done a real race simulation with this bike yet. So we have to wait. The medium doesn’t work properly for us. The hard rear tire is better for us. It has the designation H.”

As on Friday, Jack Miller praised the KTM engineers after his best time. “I could say I’m a legend now, but that wouldn’t be the truth. Our boys worked really hard. I’m just the idiot that sits on the thing and describes its problems. The KTM engineers have done a fantastic job. We have a bunch of great guys. They’ve been kicking their butts off for years. I’m lucky that I was able to bring a lot of experience with me from Ducati, as well as two experienced technicians, Albi and Pipi. This enabled me to turn my dreams into reality. That was really good.”

MotoGP-Ergebnis Sprint, Portimão (25.3.):

1. Bagnaia, Ducati, 12 Rdn in 19:52,862 min
2. Martin, Ducati, + 0,307 sec
3. Marc Marquez, Honda, +1,517
4. Miller, KTM, + 1,603
5. Viñales, Aprilia, +1,854
6. Aleix Espargaró, Aprilia, + 2.106
7. Oliveira, Aprilia, +2,940
8. Zarco, Ducati, +5,595
9. Alex Márquez, Ducati, + 5,711
10. Quartararo, Yamaha, +5,924
11. Raul Fernandez, Aprilia, +8,160
12. Brad Binder, KTM, + 8,384
13. Kidneys, Honda, +11,288
14, Morbidelli, Yamaha, +17,138
15. Nakagami, Honda, +18,128
16. Di Giannantonio, Ducati, + 21.235

Standings Drivers’ Championship after 1 of 42 races:

1. Bagnaia, 12 Punkte. 2. Martin 9. 3. Marc Márquez 7. 4. Miller 6. 5. Viñales 5. 6. Aleix Espargaró 4. 7. Oliveira 3. 8. Zarco 2. 9. Alex Márquez 1.

Constructors’ Championship:

1.Ducati, 12 Punkte. 2. Honda 7. 3. KTM 6. 4. Aprilia 5.

Team World Cup:

1. Ducati Lenovo, 12 points. 2. Prima Pramac 11. 3. Aprilia Racing 9. 4. Repsol Honda 7. 5. Red Bull KTM 6. 6. CryptoDATA RNF 3. 7. Gresini Racing 1.

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