Australia’s Jack Miller has extended his Moto3 championship lead with a mistake-free third place finish at the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
The 19-year-old from Townsville started from pole position and led for the opening three laps, as up to 10 riders battled it out for the win on Monday morning (AEST).
Miller remained in the mix up until the final moments, when he was pipped at the post by eventual victor Efren Vazquez and second-placegetter Romano Fenati.
The podium finish has kept the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider 21 points clear of Vazquez on the overall standings after round 10 of the championship.
“We finished the race without making stupid mistakes and I’m very happy about that,” Miller said.
“We’ve managed to score points that allow us to continue leading the world championship.
“We have a good advantage over those behind us and that’s good for us, but now we need to focus on Brno (next week), where I think the bike will be much better suited to the track than here at Indianapolis.
“We knew the weekend was going to be a struggle, but at Brno think we have another good opportunity, so I’m already looking forward to next weekend.”
Five-time MotoGP world champion and countryman Mick Doohan on Monday praised Miller for his performances so far this season, including four wins, and reiterated his belief that the teenager will be Australia’s next big star.
“He’s going fantastically,” Doohan told AAP on Monday.
“He’s still the form (rider) of Moto3 at the moment, although it’s a close run up the front there.
“If he can continue harnessing his talent the way he’s been doing it, it’s not long before we’re going to see him up the front end of MotoGP that’s for sure.”
It’s unclear where Miller will race next year, with the Queenslander caught up in a contractual dispute.
Marc VDS claim they have a binding agreement for him to ride their Moto2 bike in 2015 and 2016, however Miller’s camp have denied that is the case.
News Corp Australia on Sunday claimed Miller was on the verge of signing with leading MotoGP team Repsol Honda, but the report remains unsubstantiated.