Australia’s five-time 500cc world motorcycle champion Mick Doohan says Phillip Island’s unpredictable weather could play right into compatriot Jack Miller’s hands at this month’s Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Miller, 21, broke through for a memorable maiden MotoGP win in dreadful conditions at the Dutch TT at Assen in June, and Doohan says the Honda rider is capable of adding to that success at home in what has been an unpredictable season.
Speaking to the ‘Keeping Track’ podcast, Doohan said he expects Miller, who has missed recent Grands Prix in Austria, the Czech Republic, San Marino and Aragon with multiple injuries, to race with the front-runners at the Island.
“The way the weather has been in Victoria over the past few weeks and with the Grand Prix not too far away, it could actually open it up to being a Miller event,” Doohan said.
“I’m sure he’s going to dig deep and try to give his best performance here in Australia at the Island. This type of circuit here with the layout might actually fall into his hands, and might actually show that he’s capable of running in the dry with these guys. Eight (different) winners so far this year … you never know what’s going to happen.”
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Doohan also praised the longevity and enthusiasm of 37-year-old Valentino Rossi, with the Italian superstar sitting second in the title race for Yamaha in his 20th world championship season.
“I haven’t seen him this enthusiastic about going racing since I first saw him come into MotoGP – he’s not getting any younger, but he’s not getting any slower,” Doohan said.
“I’ve got no idea why he’s that keen to be pushing himself this far after 20 years at the top end of the sport, but whatever it is, it’s good for the sport. He’s certainly why everyone turns on the television or shows up at the gate to buy a ticket.”
In an extensive interview with ‘Keeping Track’, Doohan talked about why Jorge Lorenzo’s move away from Yamaha and as Rossi’s teammate to Ducati in 2017 will benefit him, and why Marc Marquez has been able to build a 52-point championship lead with four races remaining this season.