Jack Miller’s Thailand Grand Prix hopes ended before the lights even went out — but what exactly happened?
Miller appeared to be the most competitive Ducati rider all weekend in Buriram, and qualified sixth. However, a bizarre moment before the start of the race scuppered his hopes.
The Pramac Racing rider accidentally triggered the kill switch and shut down his bike before the start of the warm-up lap, and was forced into a pit lane start.
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The Aussie caught up with the pack, but finished in 14th as Marc Marquez kept out Fabio Quartararo in a thriller.
With Petronas Yamaha SRT rookie Quartararo finishing second, Miller ceded more ground with the deficit between the duo widening to 24 points.
With four races remaining, Quartararo has firmed for the Independent Team rider crown.
After the race, Miller described his pre-race drama, and said it “won’t happen again”.
“I turned the bike off. As soon as I pressed it [the kill switch], I’ve gone ‘f**k, no!’ because I knew exactly what button I’d pressed,” he said.
“I was in a bit of a hurry, just trying to do everything a little bit too quickly, turned the launch on and I pressed the wrong button. I mean, it’s easy enough to do … [but] I did it.
“It’s just one of those things. Just adrenaline going, everything like that.”
Having made the error, Miller was fired up and charged through to the points.
However, it was an opportunity missed, with Miller believing he would have finished between the podium finishers and factory Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, who ended up fourth.
It wasn’t the first race start drama for Miller this season, with the 24-year-old having to make some dicey manoeuvres while trying to get his holeshot device to disengage in the opening corners.
“I went out and, I was pissed, don’t get me wrong, or disappointed in myself, but I just got over it straight away as soon as I exited pitlane,” he continued.
“I gave it my all, I pushed from the start to the end as hard as I could … tried to catch back as many positions as I could … today 14th was the best we could do.
“The whole race going alone, no slipstreams on the first lap, so I instantly had to go down to the, let’s say, fuel economy map, because I was pushing the wind the whole way, not a slipstream to be seen.
“I was riding on eco mode the whole way through and just trying to make it work.
”Just didn’t quite have the grip. Just checking the pace of Marc and those guys at the front … I broke into the [1m]31s quite early on, but to stay there the whole race was nearly impossible.”