Australian MotoGP race-winner Jack Miller says sitting out this weekend’s Aragon Grand Prix gives him the best possible chance to be fit for his home race at Phillip Island next month.
The 21-year-old from Townsville stunned the MotoGP paddock with his maiden premier-class win in atrocious conditions at Assen in the Netherlands in June this year, but has missed three of the past four races after suffering back, wrist and hand injuries after a heavy crash at the Austrian Grand Prix in August.
Miller will sit out this weekend in Aragon to ensure he’s fully fit to tackle the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi on October 16, which comes the week before the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island on October 23.
Speaking to the ‘Keeping Track’ podcast, the Honda rider said being able to compete in his home race was a priority with just five Grands Prix remaining this season.
“The hand is the main issue at the moment, but I’ve still got three broken vertebraes in my back as well,” Miller said.
“Not riding 100 per cent fit with all of the injuries I’ve got at the moment seems like an unnecessary risk. We’re not fighting for the championship – we’re always fighting to be at the front, but if you’re not 100 per cent fit it adds another element of danger into an already dangerous sport.
“We decided to sit out (at Aragon) to try to be as ready as possible by the time I get to Phillip Island for my home race. It’s one of my favourite tracks and somewhere I believe we can be really good at.”
Listen to the podcast in the player below.
Miller became the first rider for an independent team to win a Grand Prix in 10 years when he took victory at Assen, and said the breakthrough result in just his second MotoGP season has cemented his standing in the sport.
“I think the whole year this year, the perception has changed a lot,” he said.
“I think people understand that my work ethic is the same as the other guys, that we are working as hard as any other guy and we do deserve to be there in the class of MotoGP, it’s not because I’m lucky.”
In an extensive interview with ‘Keeping Track’, Miller talked about his ‘shoey’ celebration that has since been emulated by the likes of Daniel Ricciardo and Valentino Rossi, the influence rival rider Cal Crutchlow has had on his career, and his hopes ahead of the Phillip Island round next month.