Two Australians will be on the grid for the first time in 13 years when Australian MotoGP returns to Phillip Island next year after a race date has been confirmed.
Dates are set for the Australian round of the 2022 MotoGP season, which will feature two Australians on the grid for the first time in 13 years.
Jack Miller and Remy Gardner will line up at Phillip Island Oct. 14-16 after the pandemic forced the 2020 and 2021 races to be canceled. Miller said it would be great to race on the revered circuit again.
“For us MotoGP riders, it’s back to our place,” said Miller. “There is nowhere else like it and running home in front of family and friends for us Australians will be very special this time around – I can’t wait.”
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Miller (Ducati) and Gardner (KTM) become the first Australian couple to ride in the elite class since Casey Stoner and Chris Vermeulen in 2009.
Miller, currently fourth in this year’s championship, scored a memorable third place in the final race at Phillip Island, 2019.
Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief Andrew Westacott said the island race would once again provide crucial support to a local community struggling during the pandemic.
“It’s been far too long since fans made the pilgrimage to Phillip Island,” he said. “I can’t wait to see the MotoGP faithful back on the circuit for what never fails to be a weekend full of action.
Australian MotoGP has pledged to race the 4.445km island track until 2026.
Next year’s Australian round will be held between rounds in Thailand (October 2) and Malaysia (October 23).
The 2022 Championship will feature 21 races, starting in Qatar on March 6 and ending in Valencia on November 6.
The calendar will include additional races in Finland and Indonesia.
Miller explodes against his bitter rival
An enraged Jack Miller was caught in a post-race showdown with Joan Mir after the world champion knocked the Australian off the track in the last lap of US MotoGP in Austin.
Miller criticized Mir on the recovery lap, at one point, grabbing the Spaniard’s helmet.
The race was won by Honda star Marc Marquez who took his seventh track victory at the Circuit of the Americas, while runner-up Fabio Quartararo could claim the world title in the next round in Misano.
Miller started from 10th place and worked his way through the field to finish fourth at the halfway point, but lost pace in the closing laps.
Mir’s Suzuki joined Miller on the final lap, the latest chapter in a growing rivalry between the two.
Despite his obvious anger after the race, Miller later said he believed he had controlled himself. “I was having trouble with my front tire, I tried to protect the line… but you can’t protect when someone hits you, can you?
“I swear, every time I run with the guy he seems to run into me… it’s not just the last two races either. I think there are better ways to handle the situation.
“I was passed out at the end of the race, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t have to happen. “
Mir was demoted from a position for irresponsible conduct and then apologized.
“I’m sorry for the contact with Jack, but it’s too bad I got a penalty because it wasn’t a deliberate move.”
Miller climbed to fourth place in the world title race but, mathematically, can no longer control Quartararo.
Miller’s teammate Pecco Bagnaia is the only rider who can catch up with the Frenchman, but he himself has lost ground despite being third and 52 points behind.
In Moto2, Remy Gardner’s championship lead was reduced to just 11 points when he crashed as the closest rival and his teammate Raul Fernandez won the checkered flag.
Gardner slipped out of the race while chasing Fernandez with 12 laps to go.
Australian ace Miller aims for MotoGP team glory
– Todd Balym and AFP
Australian rider Jack Miller believes a serial podium is within reach as he seeks to complete his best MotoGP season and secure the teams’ championship ahead of the crucial final stages of the year, starting with the Grand Prix from the United States this weekend.
Miller has worked his way up to fifth in the Championship standings with two race wins this year and while he is striving to finish in the top three this season, it is just as important how he can help Ducati Lenovo win the team title.
They are currently behind Monster Energy Yamaha by just three points with four innings remaining, while Miller is now fifth in the title race with 140 points, just behind Frenchman Johann Zarco (141 points) with Spain’s Joan Mir in view with 167 points.
Miller has raced five times at the Austin racetrack and with a podium in his last start in Texas two years ago, he is confident he can continue to chip away at the men in front of him in his quest for a podium. in the championship.
“It’s that time of the year now where you take a closer look at the championship standings to see what’s possible, and for us the team championship is within reach for sure,” Miller said.
“We’re getting closer and closer to the Yamaha factory boys. Last year we helped Ducati win the constructors ‘title and it was fantastic, so getting the teams’ title this time around would be huge for us.
“For me seventh is the best I’ve done in a season before, so I’d like to be in the stands, in the top three, and I think it’s possible.
“I’m only one point behind (Johann) Zarco fourth now and 27 behind Mir in third, so there is a bit of work to be done with four races to go, but it’s doable so I have to keep moving. ‘harness it. “
Miller’s teammate Francesco Bagnaia is still in the title race with 186 points, but he needs to close the huge gap with Yamaha leader Fabio Quartararo (234 points) in the next rounds if he is to stand a chance of force the championship to make a decisive decision. final in Valencia.
There are still 100 points to be won in the title race and after back-to-back wins Bagnaia now has three rounds to narrow that gap to under 24 points for a chance to win the crown in the final round in Spain on November 14. . .
“The gap in the championship is still big, and there are only four races left, so it will be crucial to be consistent and bring in as many points as possible,” said Bagnaia.
Quartararo aims to become France’s first MotoGP world champion and after five wins this season he has a solid 48-point title buffer, but with Bagnaia in great shape, the 22-year-old has “decided not to think about the championship. ”.
“At the start of the year I thought to myself whether or not I’m fighting for the title, I want to win races,” he said. “I want it to continue like this.”
On paper, the Circuit of the Americas can favor the Ducatis, who can use their engine power in the 1.2 kilometer long straight. A bigger threat that day will likely be six-time world champion Marc Marquez.
The Honda rider, who still feels great after a debilitating crash last season, has six of seven wins in Texas since the first edition in 2013.
On circuits that turn counterclockwise, Marquez has always been virtually unbeatable. And while he’s still not 100% back from his serious accident last year, his right arm injury is less of a handicap when it comes to mostly left tacking.
The proof is in its results. On the two anti-clockwise circuits visited this season, he won in Germany and finished second in Aragon.
In Moto2, Australian Remy Gardner (Kalex) is 34 points ahead of his teammate Raul Fernandez but the latter has won the last two races.
Gardner came close to stealing the victory from his teammate with a late build-up in the final San Marino Grand Prix start, their double ending their sixth of the season and the 11th podium in 14 races for the burgeoning young Australian star .