Qatar MotoGP: Jack Miller expelled as bike ‘gets lost’ and becomes ‘foreign’ | MotoGP
An electronic problem caused the “loss” of Jack Miller’s factory Ducati during the MotoGP of Qatar on Sunday.
Qualifying fourth and confident in his race pace, Miller looked set to play a starring role in the season opener and erase last year’s ninth-place disappointment.
But the behavior of his GP22 becomes “foreign” from the start, dropping him to tenth on lap 1 and 16th on lap 6, after which he retires.
The problem Miller described, and fitting the term “lost”, suggests that his Ducati’s engine management is no longer in sync with its actual location on the race track.
Things like power delivery are tuned corner by corner so that, for example, 50% throttle when changing direction will deliver a different level of power than 50% throttle on the main straight.
The problem seems to be that Miller’s bike delivered “full” main straight power in the twisty sections, then smooth delivery in the straight.
“Right off the bat the bike wasn’t fantastic, something was missing in the electronics,” Miller explained. “The bike was pretty lost, let’s say. I had 100 per cent power at some really weird spots on the track, then coming into the front straight I had no power.
“I had to shift into fourth gear pretty much straight out of the last corner. Everyone was passing me. Honestly, I thought I was going to hurt my ass, just because I was so slow.
“I tried everything I could, traded [engine] map A to B to C, system on, system off. I tried my best, but nothing. At one point, especially on the back end of the track, it kept pulling me between corners, giving me massive acceleration.
“Of course my accelerator is open, but I don’t expect it. And then also the fear of almost getting run over every time I come out of the last corner, because I’m on the racing line and I does not accelerate.
“I just decided it was better to stop. So, it’s not a good day.
“The bike was foreign, let’s say. Very foreign. It is what it is. We know the problem, we know what happened. It’s unfortunate, and I hope it doesn’t happen again. “
His teammate and runner-up Francesco Bagnaia ended an unforgettable night for the Ducati factory team when he crashed and beat Jorge Martin de Pramac.