Miller equals best start at Aust MotoGP

Australian MotoGP ace Jack Miller’s stunning return to racing has continued as the Queenslander claimed fifth position on the starting grid for his home grand prix.

Despite breaking his leg just three weeks ago, Miller has been consistently fast around the Phillip Island circuit through practice and qualifying on his Marc VDS Honda.

The 22-year-old will start in the middle of the second row, behind pole-sitter Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), which equals the career-best MotoGP starting position Miller achieved at Phillip Island in 2016.

“All in all it was a really good day for me … I’m really happy with my performance and the performance of the bike,” Miller said.

“It could be the home grand prix or whatever, but I just haven’t felt this good on the bike for a while, which is good.

“I’m really happy with fifth place on the grid considering three weeks ago I was laid up in hospital.”

Miller, who will switch from Honda to Ducati next year, missed last week’s Japanese MotoGP as he underwent a gruelling recovery regime.

He will race with a plate and eight screws just below his right knee for at least the next 12 months after the training accident near his European base in Andorra.

Pushing his surgically repaired leg during Sunday’s 27-lap race will be his toughest challenge since the accident, but Miller is confident it will hold up.

“When I’m on the bike it’s all right … I don’t really notice it once the adrenalin starts pumping,” he said.

“I couldn’t have asked for more … the leg has been going from strength to strength and I’m stronger on the bike, which feels better every time I get on it.

“I just enjoy riding around this place … it’s a lot of fun.”

Broc Parkes, the only other Australian on the grid, will start from 21st on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 he is riding for the unwell Jonas Folger.

Australia’s Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing) will start from 16th on the Moto2 grid, with Italian Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) claiming pole.

In Moto3, Jorge Martin (Del Conca Grisini) scored his eighth pole position of the season, while Australian wildcard Tom Toparis will start from last place (31st) on the grid for Cube Racing.

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