After a turbulent start to the 2021 FIM MotoGP World Championship season, the Ducati Lenovo Team had been written off by many pundits in the paddock.
But at the Circuit de Jerez Angel Nito on Sunday (May 2), the Australian was the ultimate opportunist as he pounced all over a serious problem that saw Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) fall from a comfortable 2sec lead to outside the top ten in just a handful of laps.
Miller triumphs in Spanish Grand Prix as Marquez comes through unscathed
Joining Miller on the podium was the new FIM MotoGP World Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia, making it the first Ducati 1-2 in three years, and Petronas Yamaha SRT's Franco Morbidelli.
As the MotoGP caravan moves to Le Mans for Round 5, Bagnaia leads the premier class title chase for the first time in his career, but has just a two-point lead over what will be a fired-up Frenchman on home soil next time out.
SPANISH GP TOP 10 RESULTS:
1. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team)
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 1.912
3. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 2.516
4. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) + 3.206
5. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 4.256
6. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 5.164
7. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 5.651
8. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 7.161
9. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 10.494
10. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) + 11.776
The Australian rider has admitted in recent weeks that he has been in the trenches following a disappointing start to the year, but he was certainly gritting his teeth and digging in.
Quartararo was only able to be a tenth quicker than the Ducati man with the gap at three quarters of a second with seven laps completed.
There were huge grins on Ducati's three wise men of Dall'Igna, Tardozzi and Ciabatti when Bagnaia came across the line in second too.
A first 1-2 for Ducati in just under three years and the first they have ever had at Jerez.
Morbidelli joins the party
There was huge delight for Morbidelli in third as well - another man to silence some doubters.
The Italian thumped his chest with joy and declared it "as good as a victory" in Parc Ferme afterwards.
First in 15 years
In the end, the SpanishGP was a thriller with a nervy final few laps, as the number 43 held on and, for the first time since the 2016 Dutch Grand Prix, Miller took the chequered flag of a MotoGP race. It was also Ducati's first in Jerez for 15 years.
Quartararo eventually limped home in thirteenth and, as a result, surrendered the MotoGP World Championship lead to Bagnaia.
(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)
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