Jack Miller says he was “screaming” in his helmet as Marc Marquez started to pull away when light rain started to fall in the German Grand Prix.
Miller dropped a position from his starting spot of fourth early on at the Sachsenring but had managed to make his up to third behind Aleix Espargaro’s Aprilia just prior to when light rain started to fall at around a thirds distance.
Espargaro started to struggle for speed having kept race leader Marquez honest across the opening segment of the encounter, the Honda man pulling out a near two-second advantage by the time Miller had managed to dispatch the Aprilia and move into second.
He lacked pace thereafter though as he was soon demoted a position by Miguel Oliveira’s KTM, while rear tyre wear saw him drop back in the closing stages to eventually finish sixth.
Miller says he was “screaming” in his helmet as he saw eventual race victor Marquez escaping while stuck behind Espargaro, though was disappointed to drop back late on despite feeling like he “drove a smart, good race.”
“I felt good and passed (Aleix) Espargaro as soon as the raindrops started falling, but I just ran a little wide and he darted back underneath me but rolled off for the whole lap,” said Miller.
“I was screaming in my helmet because I could just see Marc (Marquez) going, and I had pretty good pace at that point although I didn’t feel fantastic from the beginning, the rear didn’t feel quite right.
“I had to go through the different maps very early, especially when I was off the gas it just kept rolling off the edge of the tyre (moving around) so I was just trying to do the best I could to manage it until the end of the race but I still ran out of rear tyre so I don’t know what the issue was as we didn’t have it all weekend.
“These things happen sometimes and I was just a sitting duck there at the end, Pecco (Bagnaia) passed me in a very strange spot up the hill because I just had no drive so we did what we could today.
“I felt like I drove a smart, good race and didn’t make any mistakes just trying to be calm on the throttle, the boys could see it on the data that I was managing it quite well but it just wasn’t meant to be today.”
Team-mate Francesco Bagnaia meanwhile went in the other direction having struggled for outright performance all weekend, dropping to 15th in the early goings of the German GP as he lacked confidence with his rear tyre.
Excellent tyre longevity though saw him mount a charge back through the field across the final two-thirds of the race, passing Miller for fifth on the final tour.
He lost further ground to Fabio Quartararo in the points standings-now leaving him 32 points adrift of the Yamaha man after a strong start to the year- despite his impressive comeback though, leaving him frustrated that he struggled so much in the early circulations.
“I think with the feeling I had in the first seven or eight laps it wouldn’t have made a difference whether I was starting in first or second row because I felt really bad with the rear tyre, everytime I was entering the corners I was sliding a lot and losing a lot of time,” explained Bagnaia.
“But the afterwards it was OK and we did an amazing job with the bike over the race distance with the tyres, today I did just what I was doing in the practice sessions but the great thing was that I was P16 and I overtook nine riders at a track like this and only two that crashed, (Alex) Marquez and (Danilo) Petrucci.
“This is a track that is very difficult to overtake at so I’m very happy, the pace was great today and it was just a shame to have lost the time at the start because I was fast enough to finish on the podium but in any case we didn’t achieve this goal so we have to keep working and work out how to avoid the problem in the next races.”