Marc VDS Honda rider Jack Miller will miss the next round of the 2017 MotoGP championship at Honda’s home circuit of Motegi, after undergoing surgery to have a pin inserted into his tibia after breaking it while riding trials in his European base of Andorra.
The Australian fell at low speed while riding and broke the tibia of his right leg in a crash very reminiscent of Valentino Rossi’s only a month ago. But, with Rossi making a comeback after only three weeks away, Miller says he’s targeting a similar return to form for his home race in Australia in three weeks’ time.
"Obviously I'm both disappointed and frustrated to have to sit out the Japanese Grand Prix through an injury sustained while training, especially as it wasn't even a crash! We were out trials riding and I put a foot down when I lost traction from the front tyre. Nine times out of ten that would have been the end of the story, especially at such a low speed, but this time I must have caught my foot on something and ended up fracturing my right tibia close to the knee.
“The injury has been stabilised with a plate and screws and I already have some movement, but it's clear that I won't be fit for Motegi. However, I am determined to be back on the bike at Phillip Island and that's what I'll be working towards now with the physiotherapist."
And despite undergoing surgery to have a nail and eight screws inserted into the break, team boss Michael Bartholemy says age is on Miller’s side as he returns to fitness.
"Jack was extremely unfortunate to end up with a fractured tibia from such a seemingly innocuous incident; it was just bad luck. The timing is also unfortunate, as we're about to head overseas for three races in as many weekends, but Jack is adamant that he will miss only next weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. His aim is to be back on the bike for his home race at Phillip Island and the prognosis is good. He will work now with a physiotherapist to increase mobility in the injury and, together with his doctors, we will make a decision on whether he is fit to ride in Phillip Island immediately after the Japanese Grand Prix."