Jack Miller: Mugello MotoGP podium possible before ‘heartbreaking’ crash

Jack Miller reckons a potential second podium finish of the season slipped away because of his crash mid-way through the Italian grand prix at Mugello.

The Aussie was part of a five-way battle for the lead for most of the race until he lost the front end of his Ducati on the entry to Turn 4, sliding into the gravel and retiring as a result.

He currently is in his own private battle with current factory Ducati pilot Danilo Petrucci for the second seat alongside Andrea Dovizioso for next year.

However while Petrucci went on to secure his debut MotoGP victory by winning the race, Miller ended up failing to score points for the third time this season.

Petrucci on the other hand has scored top six finishes in all six rounds of 2019 so far.

Miller- a one-time premier class winner himself at a wet Dutch TT back in 2016 when riding for Marc VDS Honda- competes on the same specification GP19 Desmosedici that Petrucci has, but is run by Ducati satellite squad Pramac.

Miller believes he was in for a possible victory chance, and even set the fastest lap of the race shortly before crashing out.

“It was a great race, I enjoyed it a lot with all the fighting. I was really comfortable in the group, just managing,” Miller said.

“As you saw there were about ten laps to go and Danilo out in front started increasing the pace.

“I saw that because most of the race we were conserving the tyres, particularly through the Arrabbiata’s, and I saw with ten laps to go that Marc and Danilo were pushing quite a lot through there and starting to spin a bit more.

“They made a little gap to me so I knew they were going to start to push, as before that most of the race we were just in tyre save mode.

“The next lap I did the fastest lap of the race catching them back up and I wanted to pass Rins at Turn 1 but I wasn’t quite close enough so it would have been a little risky, so I was just waiting.

“Rins then had a big slide on the entry to Turn 4 and I broke a little earlier and released them a little earlier, and as I released them the front went. I tried to save it on my elbow but it was impossible, so a heartbreaking end to a really strong race.”