THIS STORY APPEARS IN THE OCTOBER ISSUE OF INSIDE SPORT MAGAZINE. FOR MORE ON INSIDE SPORT, CLICK HERE.
In the space of five frantic minutes, Jack Miller had seized upon an opponent’s mistake to win his maiden world championship motorcycle race, embarked on a series of wild celebrations on his lap back to the pits, inadvertently dropped the f-bomb on live international TV and stepped onto a Grand Prix podium for the first time. And then his mask of bravado splintered.
As the Australian national anthem rang out across the Losail Circuit in Qatar, Miller’s 100-watt smile dimmed, giving way to a quivering bottom lip. His eyes briefly met those of parents Peter and Sonya in the throng below the victory rostrum, and he swallowed hard. The tears finally came, first in a trickle, then faster as he tried to blink them away. The crowd, and the other members of the MotoGP travelling roadshow, roared their approval for a victory that was as popular as it was unlikely.
This was a genuine feel-good story on a global scale, a gregarious Aussie teenager making good on an improbable journey from the outskirts of Townsville to take on – and beat – the best of the next generation of motorcycle racers from all over the world.
FOR MORE OF THIS FEATURE, SEE THE OCTOBER ISSUE OF INSIDE SPORT.