Jack Miller may have been racing a little too conservatively on the battle arena that was Jerez. Not that you can blame him, of course. The Australian had taken a nasty fall in Austin and was trying to go easy on his recently healed ankle. He trailed behind at 19th place consistently, only speeding up where other riders crashed. By the time he picked up the pace towards the end, it was too little too late and he ended up taking an unenviable 17th place. It just so happened that circumstances were not in his favour either, with unforgiving temperatures taking a toll on everyone’s tyres.
He certainly regrets playing it so safe in the beginning and not navigating those sharp turns with more confidence, but he is pretty happy with his progress in general. He’s been spending lots of time at the gym and his durability on the track is a testament to his hard work.
“It was a tough weekend but I am happy to have got through it safely and with a solid finish under my belt after the injury problems in Austin. I struggled throughout the race in the hairpins and it really showed in the early laps. I had no confidence and couldn’t make any passes but I have to be positive because the heat made it a very physical race and my body held up really well, so all the training I’ve been able to do while hurt has paid off.”
“In the second part of the race, I felt good because I’d worked hard to conserve my tyres. Maybe I saved them a bit too much but it was important to finish and learn a lot. I’ll need to be better at the next race at Le Mans.”
Looks like Miller’s aspirations of cinching it at Le Mans might end up being more than wishful thinking. During the first official in-season test of 2016, he got some valuable track time to work on the tight corners he had missed during the race proper. After 65 laps, he made up for time he lost in Austin and managed a best time of 1’40.681 and end up in 14th place. This was 0.3s faster than his time in Q1.