Aussie MotoGP star Jack Miller has been accused of deliberately bumping into a rival in a dangerous move that could have had dire consequences.
Reigning MotoGP world champion Joan Mir hit out at Aussie Jack Miller for a “super dangerous” manoeuvre after the pair collided on track at the Doha Grand Prix.
Miller had a second ninth-place finish in as many weeks despite a strong showing in free practice, with his bump on Mir dominating discussion after his race.
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The pair made contact twice — the first case instigated accidentally by Mir, the second allegedly by Miller — and exchanged words heatedly for the duration of the subsequent straight, before a furious Mir accused Miller of intentionally trying to knock into him.
“We both touched a bit, then I picked up the bike. It was a manoeuvre that I understand was risky, but was not over the limit,” Mir said of the initial contact. “I moved my leg to apologise because I couldn’t avoid it.
“And then in the same lap I was wide in the last corner, and when I came back I saw Jack and he was moving the head like he saw me. I just went to the kerb and he just came across over me and we both touched.
“We almost crashed on the straight, so I think it was super risky, it was a super dangerous manoeuvre … I think that was intentional.”
The stewards decided no action needed to be taken against either rider after reviewing the incident, as Miller seemed nonplussed by the argy bargy.
“There was few contacts but it was the way that the race was going, seemed to be a bit of contact here and there,” Miller said. “It was just one of those things.
“We’ve both seen what happened … and we continued to race after that, so not much really on that side of things. I got hit, I think three times already before.”
Frenchmen dominate in Doha
Mir finished seventh as the race was won by Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo, with French compatriot Johann Zarco of Ducati-Pramac finishing second.
Spanish rookie Jorge Martin, the teammate of Zarco, was third after starting the race on pole position.
It was the first time two French riders had been on the podium in the sport’s elite class since 1954 when Pierre Monneret won and Jacques Collot was third on home soil in Reims.
Quartararo joked modestly that he “will enjoy the moment with a nice McDonald’s tonight” following his win.
“It is easy to say I’ve not won a lot of races — but wow!” he added. “I came from eighth, the pace and track were totally different from the fourth practice and warm-up.
“I always dreamed to win in Qatar, unfortunately I was not the first (this season).”
Zarco’s second-place finish was enough to put him on top of the world championship after two rounds. He has 40 points with Quartararo in second, just four points behind.
“I was pretty happy that Jorge (Martin) took the pace, after half a race he had the pace — but I was still able to stay behind him,” Zarco said.
“He was so clean in the style. It was this situation in four laps to the end, Fabio came in the right place to overtake Jorge.
“I tried to overtake Fabio but I could not pass him.
“I’m so happy for both of them — victory of a French rider and podium for a teammate.” Spain’s Alex Rins, on a Suzuki, and Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales, the winner of the season-opening Qatar MotoGP on the same Losail track last week, filled out the top five.
Vinales had an eventful race after a poor start and his frustration was visible after the chequered flag fell.
Valentino Rossi, the seven-time MotoGP world champion, was 16th on the Yamaha-SRT, after starting in 21st place, the Italian’s worst ever qualifying performance.