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Jack Wins

Jack Miller Strip

Australian Jack Miller has kept his Moto3™ World Championship hopes alive – and brought an adoring home crowd to its feet – with a sensational victory in the 2014 Tissot Australian Moto3™ Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

After a typical Moto3™ race with too much slicing and dicing to mention, the 19-year-old from Townsville held off World Championship leader Alex Marquez, 18, on the drag to the finish line at the tail end of 23 extraordinary laps of the 4.45km Grand Prix circuit.

Miller’s fifth win of the year, which included a new lap record of 1:36.302, came with just 0.029 seconds to spare over Marquez, while the second Estella Galicia 0,0 Honda of Alex Rins claimed the final spot on the podium.

Miller, the first Australian to win a Moto3™ race at Phillip Island, is now 20 points behind Marquez with two rounds remaining in the 2014 Moto3™ title, with the next round to be held in Malaysia next Sunday, followed by the finale in Valencia on November 9.

“I definitely gave that my 120 per cent,”

said an elated Miller after his fifth victory of 2014 – and the best of his career to date.

“I nearly dropped the front at MG corner (Turn Four) trying to get the last sections perfect I’m super-duper happy and I can’t thank my team enough.”

The last half of the Moto3™ race saw either Miller or Marquez lead across the finish line, although the KTM of Miller didn’t have enough legs to keep him at the sharp end of the snarling pack – at one stage 11 riders were within one second of each other – by Turn One.

But that only seemed to galvanise him even more, and he often used Turn Four to pick his way forward again.

That was the underlying pattern, until the final lap when Miller bucked the trend and was in the lead by turn one. From that point, he bravely put up the shutters, and on the final run down Gardner Straight weaved and changed direction to prevent Marquez and Rins using the slipstream to their advantage.

That proved to be a masterstroke, as Miller’s 53rd Moto3™ race became his most memorable – and the icing on the cake was Mick Doohan presenting the winning trophy.

The top six in the race flashed over the line within 0.242 seconds of each other, with Efren Vazquez (Saxo-Print-RTG) fourth from teammate John McPhee, with Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda) sixth.

Three big names who were in the leading pack had unceremonious exits from the race after crashes: Isaac Vinales (Calvo KTM) on lap 10 at Turn Two, while Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46 KTM) and Danny Kent Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) had a coming together a Turn Four on lap 22.

Meanwhile, it was a disaster for Aussie wildcard Remy Gardner (Laglisse Calvo KTM) when he was forced to start the race from pit lane when his bike stalled at the start of the sighting lap, but he inched his way back to 26th position with lap times comparable to the riders who finished mid-pack. The second Aussie wildcard, Olly Simpson (KTM), was last to finish in 28th position.

check ins at Phillip Island