until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


‘Stinker’ Miller taking him out wasn’t Mir’s biggest problem

by Simon Patterson
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

MotoGP riders Joan Mir and Jack Miller have struck a conciliatory tone despite Miller’s errant overtaking move causing both to crash out of the Portuguese Grand Prix.

The incident severely dented the Suzuki rider’s hopes of regaining his crown by costing him a health haul of points.

After his early lead was quickly overturned by eventual race winner Fabio Quartararo, Mir initially settled for second place before a chasing brace of Ducatis started to hunt him down in the closing stages of the race.


He was first passed by Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco, then it was then Miller’s turn to set up a move of his own into Portimao’s Turn 1.

It all went wrong and left both Miller and Mir in the gravel instead of fighting for the final podium spot.

“Zarco passed Mir and I thought I had to start setting up a pass,” Miller explained afterwards.

“I spent three laps trying to get close enough in Turn 1, felt like I did, and as I went to pass, you saw it.

“I was a fair bit on the inside and I don’t know if I collected one of the damp patches there, but I tucked the front and T-boned him.

“I went deep, Joan went deep, he released, I released, and I got caught out.

“It’s just one of those things that can happen. I felt like I could manage the speed at that corner all race – it was the only one I had no real qualms with throughout the race because the bike was working really well there.

“It’s never nice. Crashing out of a race that late and from a good position is always s****y, and then taking out a rival makes it even worse, and I feel like a real stinker.

“But it is what it is and I’m just trying to look at the positives. We were in a good position, the points were there, and I felt solid all weekend.”


While he might have been expected to be angry after the clash, Mir was dejected but calm about the outcome, something immediately evident in the gravel trap at the side of the track when his sarcastic slow round of applause for Miller quickly turned into genuine concern for the factory Ducati rider when he took a few minutes to pick himself up.

“It’s a thing that can happen – I’ve made this mistake a couple of times,” Mir admitted.

“I know that he didn’t do it on purpose, he just wanted to overtake in the braking area in a point where there was no space and I was braking quite hard also.

“Then he locked the front and yeah, it was a shame. But again I’ve made this mistake as well and I hope he learns from it.”

That tone might be something to do with the bigger issue on Mir’s mind being that Suzuki had no answer to Quartararo’s Yamaha as the reigning champion powered past him early in the race.

Mir had fallen 6s behind Quartararo by the time Miller hit him, and the Yamaha ultimately won by 5.4s over Zarco.

There was nothing that Mir could do to halt his potential title rival and successor as champion – something he didn’t quite seem to expect going into the race.

“This was the main thing today,” he admitted of his lack of competitiveness.


“On the second lap I started to feel that something wasn’t right with the front, with a lot of movement that was getting worse and worse. The front part of the bike was really on the limit in the last part of the race.

“It’s a shame because after a weekend like this one, with a great start and everything to set the pace that we had last year, something went a bit not right and this is what happens.”

Retiring from Portimao means Mir is now sixth in the championship, 23 points behind new leader Quartararo.

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