The international lifestyle of Grand Prix motorcycle racing is far removed from Townsville, Queensland, where the seventeen year old grew up on the family cattle property.
His racing career began on dirt track, where he had won his first national long track title by the age of eight.
After switching to road racing at fourteen Miller has gone on to hit some remarkable milestones early in his career, the highlight winning the German IDM 125cc Championship in 2011.
“We were lucky enough to win the German Championship”, explains Miller. “I also picked up a podium when the bike didn’t break down in the Spanish Championship. It was a decent year where I was picked up to do the last five races of last year and then this full year in Moto3.”
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for the ambitious Aussie with some up and down results throughout 2012. As with any new class of racing, there has been a settling in period as manufacturers adapt their machinery to a new set of rules. Miller says that throughout the year the Honda machinery that he is riding has become less competitive which has actually seen many of his rivals abandon the manufacturer in Moto3.
“I was hoping to finish the championship off in the top ten, but all of the teams that bought Honda’s in the first place, they changed chassis. A lot went to FTR – some went to Suter.
Come testing there were thirteen or fourteen Honda’s, now there is only one. We are the only ones left on the Honda and the engine is great, but the chassis is just basic, you know, you can’t adjust anything on it…so we are really struggling with setup and also development.
Miller explains that it is not only cost that stops him from changing chassis – but also his team boss.
“The team boss didn’t really want to change anything. He’s happy with it (the Honda) but he’s not the one riding it. It makes it hard for me…this year has been a great learning year but for next year we are really looking at getting onto a competitive bike and trying to do the best that I can do.”
“We’re getting there slowly and steadily, these last couple of races we have been getting better and better and we are getting quicker in the dry so hopefully we can keep the progression going forward.”
Even though he has been living and riding overseas for the last few seasons, Miller says he still finds adapting to life in Europe challenging.
“For the last three years I’ve lived in three different countries. I lived in Spain, then Holland last year and this year I’m in Italy.
A lot of Pigeon English and sign language can get you a long way.”
Australians have a solid history of performing well at their home circuit and for Jack Miller, his affection for Phillip Island is as strong as his compatriots.
“For me, it is one of my favourite circuits. I love it, it’s got a heap of fast stuff and then a couple of technical little corners, but this year it is incredibly bumpy.
I mean, even from what it was last year it is getting worse and worse but they said it is getting resurfaced for the next GP so that will be good. It’s definitely due for a remake!”
As far as the future goes, Miller says he has had offers to move up to Moto2 but another year in Moto3 is most likely.
“I myself would really like to do another year in Moto3. I think Moto2 is a great championship. The guys in there, it’s like Moto3, it is so close.
Today I was eighteenth, but if I drop point five of a second I go straight to ninth. That’s how close it is.”
Whatever the outcome, Miller hopes that his plans for next year will be finalised by the end of this weekend.
“All the good deals are starting to close if not today, then tomorrow, so we might know soon. It depends on whose got the best deal.”