Australian MotoGP rider Jack Miler proved he’s “not an idiot” with his first GP win in the Assen race overnight. He also became the first non-factory racer to win a premier class event since 2006.
Rain was the great leveller of machinery in the Assen MotoGP, allowing talent to shine through as it did for fellow Queenslander Chris Vermeleun for his maiden GP win at Le Mans in 2007.
Jack took his inaugural MotoGP win in treacherous conditions after a heavy storm swept over the 4452m circuit just before the start of the 26-lap race with all riders starting on Michelin Power Rain tyres.
“A lot of people have badmouthed us and said that this project wouldn’t work,” an emotional Jack said after the race.
“I just hope we’ve showed them wrong, and I can ride the bike, and I’m not an idiot.”
The timely win by Jack Miller comes as factory teams are plotting their 2017 lineup. Let’s hope this puts him in their sights.
From the beginning the race became an intense battle with the lead changing hands, before the skies opened and the track was deluged with water, giving race direction no other option than to red flag the event due to the adverse weather conditions after 14-laps.
This forced a re-start to be scheduled with a 12-lap race on a wet track, but with no further rain.
The grid reformed in the positions the racers had finished in the previous aborted race: Andrea Dovizioso on pole (Ducati), Danilo Petrucci (Ducati), Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Jack (Honda) in eighth position.
Dovizioso led off the line, but was soon passed by Rossi but he crashed out of the lead on lap three. This handed first place to championship–leader Marc Marquez (Honda), but his lead only lasted for one-lap before he was passed by the hard-charging, but smooth, Miller.
The 21-year-old Townsville independent rider took control of the race and never looked like surrendering the lead, as he crossed the finish line with an almost two-second advantage.
“It was an amazing day today and a very special race! We had two races, so it almost felt like World Superbike day,” Jack said.
This year’s Dutch TT was held on a Sunday for the first time in its history and despite the torrential rain the huge crowd of 105,000 – the largest race-day attendance of the season so far – were treated to an exciting and incident-packed race.
It was a good weekend for Aussies with Jason Doyle scoring his first FIM Speedway Grand Prix victory in Prague on Saturday and motorcycle journalist Rennie Scaysbrook second in the heavyweight division in the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb on a KTM 1290 Super Duke, behind Bruno Langlois on a Kawasaki ZX-10R.