Reigning champion Joan Mir has criticised MotoGP rival Jack Miller after their “super dangerous” collision in the Doha Grand Prix.
Mir and Miller were fighting in close proximity throughout much of the “Moto3-style” second Qatar MotoGP race, and their duel reached a boiling point on the 13th lap, as they made contact on two separate occasions.
First, Mir fired his GSX-RR down the inside of Miller at the sharp Turn 10 left-hander, and the two washed out wide as they made contact, with Mir raising his right leg on the bike as an act of apology.
But as Mir then ran wide out of the final corner, Miller drew alongside the Suzuki man but stuck to an inside-outside trajectory through the right-hander.
This meant that the Aussie closed right up on Mir, who was straddling the kerb and was left no room to rejoin the track, eventually only managing to do so after side-on contact.
It was clear the move had left Mir livid after the race, as he and Miller gesticulated angrily at each other on the cooldown lap.
Speaking to the media subsequently, Mir said: “What happened with Jack is that in Turn 10, it is the only place where I could overtake, and I took the right position, and then he decided to stay on the outside, to maintain the line.
“We both touched a bit, then I picked up the bike, I understand that it was a risky maneuver but was not over the limit, was all right, was okay.
“Then I moved the leg to apologise, because when something like that happens in the race I normally like to apologise, because I couldn’t avoid it.
“And I think in the same lap I was wide in last corner and when I came back [towards the racing line], I looked, I saw Jack, he was moving the head like he saw me, and I just went to the kerb, as much outside the line as I could, and he just came across, over me, and we touched.
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“We almost crashed on the straight for this reason. I think that it was super risky, a super dangerous maneuver, and that’s it, I don’t have much to say.”
Addressing the media just prior to Mir’s print media session, Miller said the incident was simply “the way the race seemed to be going”.
“It was just one of those things. I think everyone saw what happened, and we continued to race after that, not much really on that side of things,” Miller said.
“It was what it was. I know what happened there, they go wide and then they want to come back in [onto the racing line] and nobody is really concerned about where anyone else is on track.”
Asked by The Race whether he saw Miller’s move as an act of intentional intimidation, Mir said: “Yeah, I think that was intentional. I think that was intentional, that’s it.”
The contact was investigated during the race, but a “no further action” verdict was rendered well before the chequered flag fell.
The Race understands Suzuki has decided against appealing the decision not to penalise Miller.
“I think that my team will judge if they have to appeal or something – for sure it has to be investigated because these maneuvers in MotoGP, they are over the limit,” Mir said before that decision was taken.
“If it was intentional, like I said, he deserves a penalty. If not, not. But I think that he moved the head perfectly.”
He then added: “If you have time, compare the image of Aleix Espargaro and myself to the image of Jack Miller and myself. Aleix Espargaro went wide in the last turn, he saw that I was coming, he moved a little bit on the outside of the track and I saw him also and then I didn’t come to hit him. I just respect the rivals, you know?
“And I think that Jack didn’t show the respect in this case. It was the same maneuver, same thing, but different riders. You can judge.”
Miller was not quizzed whether his move was intentional – and said nothing to indicate it was – and when asked whether he was expecting a disqualification, said: “I got hit I think three times already before, so, it seemed to be that was the way the race was going. That’s all.
“If I was black-flagged, then there’d be something happening wrong, I feel.”