LE MANS, France – Australian rider Jack Miller raced to his second-straight MotoGP triumph on Sunday during the French Grand Prix at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit.
Miller reigned for the Ducati factory team in a wild race that saw a mid-race rainstorm force riders to perform a bike swap due to the dry-to-wet conditions.
Miller came into the pits for his bike swap from fourth place on lap five, following an off-road excursion into the Bugatti circuit’s turn-11 gravel trap, and rejoined in third despite a double long lap penalty for exceeding the 60 kph pit lane speed limit.
Miller quickly found himself in second when Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez – who had emerged as the leader – went down at the final corner after re-entering the race in the wet conditions, then closed the gap to Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo after serving his long laps on laps nine and 10.
On lap 12, Miller finally overhauled Quartararo for the top spot and took a lead he wouldn’t relinquish again. Though Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco went on the hunt and took second late in the race, Miller comfortably hung on to win by 3.970 seconds – his third career MotoGP win and second of the year.
With Sunday’s triumph, Miller became the first Australian rider since Casey Stoner in 2012 to win consecutive races in the premier class of grand prix motorcycle racing.
“Winning two races in a row is a dream for me, especially after such a difficult race where I even had to take a double long lap and ended up in the gravel. So to be able to get this result is really extraordinary,” said Miller. “The race was really long and tough mentally. I tried to keep my concentration and kept telling myself to stay calm. In this way, I managed the tires well and saved them until the end, managing the advantage over Johann, who was getting very close towards the end.
“It was really a fantastic victory!”
Zarco crossed the finish line second ahead of Quartararo, with Miller’s Ducati teammate Francesco Bagnaia and Tech 3 KTM’s Danilo Petrucci filling out the top five.
LCR Honda Castrol’s Alex Marquez, LCR Honda Idemitsu’s Takaaki Nakagami, Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro, Tech 3 KTM’s Iker Lecuona and Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales closed the top 10.
Marc Marquez failed to finish and was scored 17th in the final results after crashing a second time, going down at turn six on lap 18.