Australian Jack Miller has the chance to regain lost ground in the Moto3 championship in the Australian grand prix this weekend.
With the MotoGP title done and dusted, Moto3 has emerged as the only game in town at the Australian grand prix.
The top-level MotoGP championship was sucked of its life last weekend in Japan where Marc Marquez – Alex’s older brother – sensationally won the title with three races to spare.
So it came as no surprise when the world’s media attention went towards Australian Jack Miller and Alex Marquez, rather than their more established rivals.
And Miller is claiming an advantage on home turf after ceding a title advantage to the Spaniard.
“To come to the home race, it couldn’t have come at a better time,” he said.
“We’ve had a couple of difficult results, (we’ve) looked strong all weekend and then just in the race, haven’t been able to put it together.”
Miller and Marquez have developed a fierce rivalry over the course of the season, with a flashpoint in Aragon last month.
A clash between the two left the Queenslander off his bike and trailing in the championship for the first time all season.
The gap now stands at 25 points after the pair wrote another chapter last weekend in Motegi.
The 19-year-old KTM Ajo rider’s championship hopes were dealt another blow when he was overtaken in a last-lap frenzy.
But Miller hopes the home track advantage will bring a boost.
“There’s 75 points left on the table and we’ll do our best to try and close (the gap),” he said.
MotoGP champion Marquez said he aimed to enjoy the remaining three races.
“I feel less pressure, I’m more free,” he said.
Famed for its speed, sweeping bends and sea views, Phillip Island is a rider favourite.
Last year’s champion Jorge Lorenzo, who arrives on a two-race winning streak, shared his affection.
“It’s just wonderful, it’s one of the special tracks on the calendar, probably the most special one,” he said.
Joining local rider Anthony West in the Moto2 race are wildcards Aidan Wagner and Max Croker, while Olly Simpson and Remy Gardner will race in the Moto3 division.
Gardner is the son of world champion Wayne, in his second Moto3 race after his debut last month in Italy.