MotoGP battles and woes for Aussie Miller

Jack Miller had a physical problem and was accused of intentional dangerous riding by world champ Joan Mir in a calamitous Doha GP for the ninth-placed Aussie.

JACK MILLER of Australia.
JACK MILLER of Australia. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Jack Miller's miserable start to the MotoGP season has continued in a calamitous Doha Grand Prix for the Australian rider, who had an angry mid-race dust-up with world champion Joan Mir before a hand problem saw him trail home ninth.

"I don't want another race like that," said Miller, after admitting that he couldn't feel the front brake lever on his Ducati near the finish on Sunday because of the recurrence of a numb hand which may need electronic treatment this week.

With Frenchman Fabio Quartararo winning the race in Qatar, Miller was left reflecting on a hugely disappointing launchpad for his campaign after doing as badly as in his similarly lacklustre ninth-placed outing in the previous weekend's opener

After looking great in testing on his new factory Ducati, the 26-year-old Townsville racer had been widely touted as one of the men to beat this season but after two rounds, he's now already struggling back in ninth overall.

He was also at the centre of furious recriminations as Mir claimed the Australian had intentionally bumped into him on the pit straight at close to 200km/h during the race.

Mir had himself overtaken Miller aggressively and the pair even touched while battling for fifth place on the 13th lap, prompting another dust-up soon afterwards when they made contact on the straight.

The incident was investigated and was deemed just a racing incident but Mir said afterwards: "We almost crashed on the straight, so I think it was super risky, it was a super dangerous manoeuvre.

"I think that was intentional ... and I think that Jack didn't show respect in this case."

Miller, who had gesticulated towards Mir during the heat of their battle, was not complaining afterwards, though, saying he felt it was just a normal racing incident.

"There were a few contacts but it was the way that the race was going, seemed to be a bit of contact here and there. It was just one of those things," he shrugged.

"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."

Miller will have been much more concerned with the ending to his race, which saw him even lose a couple of places on the last lap.

Miller, who had arm surgery at the end of last year, said: "I mean I felt fantastic right up until the last four laps and then I couldn't really feel the front brake lever anymore.

"I've had it in the past and I've had like a different treatment, not so much a surgery but an electronic treatment that broke down the fascia."

Up ahead, Yamaha's Quartararo, who'd been ninth at the end of the first lap, pulled off a tremendous win, having overtaken both second-placed Johann Zarco and third-placed Jorge Martin on their Pramac Racing Ducatis in a single lap.

"I haven't won many races but this was such a special win," Quartararo said.

Zarco, who was second last week as well, leads the championship after two races -- four points ahead of Quartararo and Maverick Vinales.