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After a long battle with Alex Marquez, Ducati rider Jack Miller managed to propel the Spaniard to a first MotoGP podium from Catalonia.

The Australian, who started second behind teammate Francesco Bagnaia, got off to a perfect start after leading into the first corner, however, quick moves from Bagnaia and Joan Mir pushed Miller back to third before the start of the second lap .

Miller then became embroiled in a battle with former Moto3 rival Marquez, which saw the pair swap positions five times.

The last of these was a Miller pass at the exit of turn five, and although he initially created a gap with Marquez, back-to-back errors at turns five and seven allowed the LCR Honda man to reconnect. .

Marquez, who was incredibly strong in turn one, looked ready to pull off a move he had done twice already with two laps to go, but a collision between KTM riders Iker Lecuona and Miguel Oliveira resulted in a red flag, which which means Miller held on for third.

“Right from the start I had the best start, but Pecco [Bagnaia] came under me at the first corner and was like ‘okay he clearly wants to push,’ and he definitely pushed, ‘said Miller.

“I was doing consistent 39s – I think my best was 39.6s and it was just eating us up.

“So I made a little mistake at five, but Joan [Mir] and I was doing that throughout the race, but Pecco was like a rock in the front. Then I just tried to manage the tire and hoped to have a little more towards the end.

“As soon as I needed to push the eight laps to score, I passed Alex [Marquez] but had a huge moment of gasoline outage at turn seven; just lose the rear, so I went to engine brake B, but the next lap it was right on me again.

“Then I had another gap before doing the exact same thing at turn five, so I was like, ‘This is what it is.’ I was getting ready for a fight towards the end, but the flag red came out.

“It’s a weird feeling when that happens because you’re sort of preparing for this, say, all-out war – especially between me and Alex as we have a bit of history. [laughs], so I felt like it was back in 2014. “

With Bagnaia winning the race and Miller taking P3, it was a double podium that gave the Italian team their second consecutive constructor title.

Much of Ducati’s success in recent seasons is not just due to the amount of bikes on the grid (6) – which is expected to be eight with Valentino Rossi’s Aramco VR46 team next year, but at the level of development of the bike that went into the Ducati project – something Miller saw firsthand as the current oldest Ducati rider.

Speaking of their success as a team, Miller added, “I think we’re really lucky. Not just myself and Pecco, but we have a great test pilot in Michele. [Pirro] who’s been here for a long time now and he’s done a lot of amazing things behind the scenes.

“The things we are testing have already passed through it and passed through a filter, let’s say.

“At the rider level … we have incredible young talents like Jorge [Martin] and Enea [Bastianini] and even Luca [Marini].

“I’ve been on Ducati since 2017, so to see the evolution, the changes; okay, I’ve never driven the GP18 I think it was or the GP19, I missed one.

“But the development and the bikes made compared to what I was riding before are night and day. I think it shows the process that Ducati has put into this project.”