Valentino Rossi enjoyed his second place in qualifying for the British Grand Prix even more because of the criticism he has encountered in 2019.

The MotoGP icon, 40, now hopes to be in the mix with pole-sitter Marc Marquez on race day and end a long absence from the podium.

Rossi finished second in two of the first three races this season but has not returned to the podium since in a stretch of eight grands prix that included three straight retirements.

His poor run of form, and a gap of over two years since his last victory, has led to speculation that Rossi may contemplate retirement, but a fourth-place finish in Austria last time showed signs of life and now the Monster Energy Yamaha star has a higher placing in mind.

Rossi told reporters: "It's normal at my age and at my point of my career, if I make three very bad races, people start to say 'He's old, it's time to stay at home', it's like this. 

"For this reason I'm happier [with the result], because I know I can be competitive if I ride well.

"It's already a good result, but it is important on Sunday to make a good race and fight for the podium. I know I have the motivation and I can be strong, because also I feel good physically."

Rossi, who has his first front-row start since the third race of the year in Austin, believes the Silverstone circuit suits his Yamaha machine, but stressed the team have been making progress over recent weeks regardless of track suitability.

"The layout of the track, the radius of the corners are good for our bike, medium-fast," he said. "For sure the new asphalt with a good grip helps. 

"But in the last period Yamaha start to work in the right direction. They start to do clever things, change the situation very much compared to the last two years.

"The bike is better, we accelerate better, the bike is easier to ride in more or less every part of the corner. We are not fast enough on the straight, but on the rest I think we improve in general.

"Here at Silverstone is good for Yamaha but also in Austria we were not so bad."

Five-time world champion Marquez once again distanced himself from the rest of the field on Saturday, claiming his fourth straight pole and eighth from 12 races with a stunning lap that was a stunning 0.428seconds quicker than closest challenger Rossi.

He lost out to Dovizioso in a dramatic battle in Austria, but still leads the championship by 58 points and his Ducati title rival could only qualify seventh at Silverstone.

Marquez has only won in Britain once but is in a perfect spot to improve that record, while his Repsol Honda team-mate Jorge Lorenzo is back from injury but only qualified 21st as he continues to battle pain.
 

TECHNICAL ISSUE HAMPERS QUARTARARO

The closely matched chasing pack of Rossi, Jack Miller, Fabio Quartararo, Alex Rins, Maverick Vinales and Dovizioso were separated by under two tenths.

Australian Miller claimed his third front row of the season to celebrate his new deal with Pramac Racing, while Quartararo had been quickest in practice but fell short in Q2, later explaining a warning alarm for an unspecified technical problem hampered him.

The French rookie said: "The first row I think yes [was possible], because we are [0.010s behind] and in this lap I made many mistakes. 

"From the second sector of my first lap I had an alarm on my dashboard. I decided to finish my lap and then go to the box to check the problem. We had to change the bike and didn't have time to change the tyre. But we have a good pace and we'll give everything."

HOME HOPE CRUTCHLOW FRUSTRATED AFTER CRASH

Hopes of a good home result lie with LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow, but he endured a poor qualifying session, crashing at Stowe while on his final flying lap.

That left him ninth on the grid, his worst Silverstone performance since 2014, with plenty of work to do to do in his 150th race as he looks to bounce back from a retirement in Austria.

"Bit of an amateur mistake to be honest, braked a bit too deep," Crutchlow said of his crash. "We looked on the data afterwards and I was so close to pulling it down, and if I would have pulled it down, I would have gained a big chunk of time.

"That was why I committed to the corner, because I knew how deep I'd braked, I knew I had to be smoother and not lock the rear, because it would have sent me on anyway, but I committed to it.

"On my actual timed lap I lost three tenths in one corner, that would have put me into the 1:58s. This is the way it is. I can't complain, I did the mistake myself and that's it. It's what happens when you push."
 

THE GRID

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
2. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha)
3. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing)
4. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha)
5. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar)
6. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha)
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
8. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha)
9. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda)
11. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)
12. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing)

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2018: No race due to poor weather
2017: Andrea Dovizioso
2016: Maverick Vinales (for Suzuki)
2015: Valentino Rossi

TITLE STANDINGS

Riders

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 230
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 172 (-58)
3. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 136 (-94)
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 124 (-106)
5. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) 103 (-127)

Teams

1. Ducati 308
2. Repsol Honda 259 (-49)
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 205 (-103)
4. Suzuki Ecstar 163 (-145)
5. Petronas Yamaha 150 (-158)

WEATHER FORECAST

A dry, hot race is expected at Silverstone on Sunday, much like conditions for qualifying. Temperatures for the race could potentially reach 30 degrees celcius.

Marc Marquez stormed to pole position at the British Grand Prix, beating Valentino Rossi with a blistering lap in the final seconds of qualifying.

The Repsol Honda rider claimed his fourth consecutive pole and eighth from 12 races in the 2019 season with a track-record time of 1:58.168 at Silverstone, which was a stunning 0.428seconds quicker than Rossi.

Jack Miller celebrated his new contract with Pramac Racing by producing an impressive effort to join the two MotoGP icons on the front row of the grid for Sunday's race.

A 60th career pole for five-time world champion Marquez means he is in a strong position to extend his lead in this year's standings, while title rival Andrea Dovizioso – who trails him by 58 points - was down in seventh.

Rookie sensation and qualifying specialist Fabio Quartararo had topped the timesheets in practice but had to settle for fourth position, finishing narrowly ahead of Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales.

Franco Morbidelli and Cal Crutchlow join Dovizioso, winner of a dramatic race last time out in Austria, on the third row.

Danilo Petrucci, who is third in the championship, was a poor 11th in the second factory Ducati bike, 1.319s off the pace.

Dovizioso and Rins had to come through Q1 after falling short of the top 10 after FP3, but comfortably beat the rest of the field to join the 12-man battle in the second session. 

But Q2 saw Marquez impressively beat the rest of the field, with under two tenths separating the closely matched chasing pack of Rossi, Miller, Quartararo, Rins, Vinales and Dovizioso.

Jorge Lorenzo, the Repsol Honda team-mate of Marquez, will start the race in 21st position on his return from injury.
 

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda): 1:58.168
2. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha): +0.428s
3. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing): +0.434s
4. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha): +0.444s
5. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar): +0.502s
6. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha): +0.594s
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati): +0.594s
8. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha): +0.928s
9. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda): +1.075s
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda): +1.259s
11. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati): +1.319s
12. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing): +1.452s

Jorge Lorenzo conceded he struggled to cope with the physical demands of MotoGP during Friday's practice session at Silverstone following an absence.

Lorenzo had missed the past four rounds after fracturing vertebrae in his back in a crash during practice at Assen in June.

The Spaniard targeted the British Grand Prix as his comeback race, but he struggled in practice, finishing last on the combined times and 3.682 seconds off leader Fabio Quartararo, and Lorenzo acknowledges he needs to be patient.

"It has been a tough day because you never feel very comfortable when you are in the last positions and you are last like I was," Lorenzo said.

"It is the situation that we have now and to try to push creates crashes and the consequences that you can imagine, so for the moment it is the situation that I have.

"My back has not healed completely, and I have pain, especially after FP2, and I have lost muscle mass and my physical conditions is not used to MotoGP because of two months without bikes. Little by little, I need to be patient to get through this race."

Lorenzo added he is unsure if he will be able to complete the full 20 laps on Sunday.

"I don’t know yet. After the second practice I started to feel more pain on my back compared to yesterday," the Repsol Honda driver said.

"Every practice that I will do, it will be worse for my back, but I need to manage it and try to manage the right laps, to be able to make the maximum pace and get the right laps without getting worse with my injury.

"Almost everywhere I have problems physically, in braking, also in the middle of the corners with my neck as my neck lost a lot of muscle, and the change of direction.

"I have the pain in the back and I move very slowly, so everything I do very slowly. It shows that in my three-and-a-half seconds off to the fastest ones."

 

 

Andrea Dovizioso has regained his form in MotoGP and the Ducati rider will be looking to keep up his recent hot run at the upcoming British Grand Prix.

Dovizioso claimed his second win of 2019 in Austria last time out, edging out standings leader Marc Marquez by 0.213 seconds.

Defending champion Marquez still holds a big lead over the Italian, who sits on 172 points, 58 behind the Repsol Honda rider.

However, Dovizioso has the chance of reaching three podiums in a row for the first time this season after his second place in Brno and his win in Spielberg. He is just one podium finish away from equalling Max Biaggi with the 10th most in MotoGP.

Valentino Rossi, meanwhile, is nearing a milestone, while Marquez heads to Silverstone as the rider to have recorded the most pole positions in the top category.

Using Opta data, we have previewed the British Grand Prix in numbers.

16 - Honda have triumphed 16 times at the British Grand Prix, a record.

3 - Dovizioso has the chance of winning back-to-back races for the third time in his career, and for the first time since 2017.

198 - Rossi is on 198 podiums as things stand. He needs two more to become the first rider to finish in the top three in 200 MotoGP races.

2 - If Marquez fails to win at Silverstone, it will be the first time the Spaniard has failed to finish first in two successive races the since the 2018 Czech Grand Prix.

77 - Marquez is one victory away from surpassing Mike Hailwood as the rider with the fourth-most victories in MotoGP. He is currently on 76.

10 - Jorge Lorenzo, who is due to return from injury at Silverstone, has failed to finish in the first 10 places in the last 10 grands prix - his worst run in any category.

8 - Eight of the 11 MotoGP races this season have been won by Spanish riders.

58 - Dovizioso is one podium away from matching Biaggi's tally of 58 top-three finishes.

Joan Mir will not return to action at the British Grand Prix, with test rider Sylvain Guintoli taking his place, Team Suzuki Ecstar have confirmed.

Mir missed the Austrian Grand Prix following a crash in testing that left him with a pulmonary contusion.

The Spaniard had been expected to return to MotoGP at Silverstone, yet he has not made a full recovery and, with his training also limited, his team announced via a statement Mir will sit out.

"In the end, I am not able to be in Silverstone for the next race and it is a real pity," Mir said. "But that's how things are, and the first priority has to be my health.

"After the accident, I spent several weeks resting, first in the hospital and then at home.

"I have started to walk but, after the tests, it seems that I am still not 100 per cent, so the doctors have determined that it is better to continue with my rehabilitation."

Jack Miller has signed a new one-year contract with Ducati satellite team Pramac Racing - just days after fearing his place was under threat.

The 24-year-old Australian has had two podium finishes in MotoGP this season while proving himself a consistently strong performer.

However, Miller was wary he might lose his ride when rumours began to swirl that three-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo could return to the Ducati fold.

With Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso locked in for the factory team next season, speculation suggested Lorenzo could join the Pramac ranks and Miller said he thought there was "some truth" to the claims.

He was therefore relieved to tie up a new deal for the 2020 season, securing his future.

Miller, who sits eighth in the championship standings, said: "I am very happy to have reached this agreement. Pramac Racing is a team that made me feel comfortable right from the start and the relationship with Ducati is very close.

"I will have again the official bike at my disposal and will do my best to achieve great results. I would like to thank Ducati and my team for the great work they have done so far."

Team manager Francesco Guidotti said: "Jack is proving to have great talent and his current position in the riders’ standings is confirmation of this. We are proud to have him with us also next season and we will now stay focused on our work to achieve even greater results in 2019."

Andrea Dovizioso conceded his thrilling last-ditch pass of Marc Marquez to seal MotoGP glory in Austria was "crazy".

Marquez, whose lead in the riders' standings was narrowed to a still-imposing 58 points, was involved in a gripping duel with Dovizioso that reached its remarkable conclusion on the final corner at the Red Bull Ring.

Ducati's Dovizioso ducked down the inside of Repsol Honda's Marquez to overtake him and spark wild celebrations in the paddock.

"When I arrived there [at the last corner] I did not feel I can enter in that corner because I can't brake in the same place as Marc," Dovizioso said following his team's fourth consecutive win in Austria.

"But it was the last corner. I had to try, I wanted it. If I arrive too late, I can finish second easily.

"I feel so strong in that moment. It is something in the past I always think about but I did something crazy and sometimes it works."

Marquez was not too disheartened, revealing an errant tyre choice could have led to a far less productive result.

"I'm happy because we did a big mistake with the rear tyre," Marquez said. "Immediately I saw when I got out, all soft tyres had better grip and even consistency in the end.

"Anyway, I try because I am Marc and I need to try. This second place, of course missed the last corner, but I was sliding a lot at the rear.

"Dovi did an incredible job. At the moment we are leading by 58 points so we continue on the same way."

Andrea Dovizioso claimed a dramatic MotoGP victory in Austria as he passed Marc Marquez on the final corner at the end of an enthralling battle at Spielberg.

Marquez started on pole for the third successive season at the Red Bull Ring but is still waiting for his first win in Austria after Dovizioso stole top spot on the podium from the defending champion right at the death.

Repsol Honda rider Marquez still has a commanding 58-point lead at the top of the riders' standings but Dovizioso's wild celebrations were no more than the Ducati rider deserved after one of most memorable triumphs of his career.

Fabio Quartararo took the lead on the opening lap as Marquez and Dovizioso tangled and almost collided, the Spaniard dropping down to fifth.

However, they each got past the Frenchman, who went on to finish third, with 23 laps to go, setting the stage for an absorbing duel.

Marquez looked to have reassumed control of the race after hitting the front once more, and he responded quickly after Dovizioso passed him on the start-finish straight at the beginning of lap 19 to seemingly put him on course for a seventh win of the season.

Yet Dovizioso was the quicker in the final turns and that extra pace helped him provide the sting in the tail as he dove down the inside of Marquez on the last bend to take maximum points and give Ducati a fourth straight win in Austria.

The Monster Energy Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales took fourth and fifth ahead of Suzuki Ecstar's Alex Rins. 

Marquez's quest for a sixth premier class title continues at Silverstone in two weeks' time.

Marc Marquez has been labelled "Houdini" by Cal Crutchlow after romping to a record MotoGP pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Repsol Honda star, a five-time world champion and leader of the 2019 standings, claimed his 59th career pole on Saturday and third in a row, his latest effort sealing the outright record in the premier class.

Marquez moved clear of Mick Doohan, whose total of 58 he had matched last week, with a stunning lap of 1:23.027, which was 0.434seconds clear of Fabio Quartararo in second.

"From my eyes, Marc's got a trick everywhere," LCR Honda's Crutchlow, who qualified ninth in Spielberg, told reporters per Motorsport. "He's like f*****g Houdini. He just vanishes in thin air - you see him one minute and he's gone the next.

"It's not like he has a trick in one sector, I think he has a trick in all the sectors. He's riding amazing, it's as simple as that."

Briton Crutchlow feels it is hard for riders to explain the brilliance of the rival they are trying to catch in Marquez.

He added: "Even as a rider, you can't give this guy enough credit. What he's doing, with the bike that he has, is something very, very special.

"It's clear he has an advantage over everyone else - but why, I have no idea. If I could go as fast as him, I would. 

"What he's doing different is nearly every corner, every braking, every acceleration. The laptime I did in qualifying, he did about 15 of them this morning [in FP3].

"But he's not just making me look average - if you put most of the other guys on my bike, they're not going to be as fast as I am. Everyone's trying their best, trying to match him - especially me because I'm on the same manufacturer - but at the moment it's not possible."

The Red Bull Ring is the only circuit where Marquez is yet to register a MotoGP win, Ducati having won in each of the last three years. It is a stat the in-form Spaniard is desperate to end on Sunday.

Marquez said: "When I saw the gap, I was surprised because I expected that everybody would be a little bit faster or closer.

"The track was very slippery in FP4 and qualifying. When it is slippery it is one of my strong points. I am able to stop the bike by sliding with both wheels and then I can brake later than the others sometimes. 

"It was a really good lap but I was looking for the 1:22! But I did a mistake in the last sector and I went too wide in turn 10. Apart from that we had a great rhythm. It was a great day, everything and everyone in the team was working so well. 

"We just need to understand the best tyre for Sunday. We know the race pace is not a four-tenths [advantage], it is much closer. We will try to fight until the end and see what happens."

Marc Marquez claimed a record 59th premier class pole at the Austrian Grand Prix, but Andrea Dovizioso believes he is still in the picture.

Reigning MotoGP champion and 2019 leader Marquez set himself up for another successful weekend with a fastest time of 1:23.027 in qualifying.

Dovizioso, third on the grid, acknowledged the Spaniard is "so fast" but insists he will fight Marquez all the way on Sunday.

"We work really hard for the race, we are quite consistent, but Marc is so fast with every tyre, in every practice," Dovizioso told a news conference.

"But we are there. We work so hard and I think we are ready to fight. There are still some things that I can prove and that's a positive.

"We'll see the conditions and we also have the warm-up to be working on that."

Marquez delighted in his performance on Saturday but similarly acknowledged Dovizioso could yet come back on race day.

"Already, before, I saw that it was maybe possible [to get one minute and] 22 [seconds], but in the end 23.0 is a good lap," Marquez said.

"Most important is that we feel good on the bike and the confidence is really high. All weekend with the Repsol Honda team, we've worked in the best way with the correct steps.

"But tomorrow the most important day is coming and this guy on my left [Dovizioso] is not far away. He is consistent and, especially with the used tyre, he has a good pace."
 

'TOUGHEST RACE OF THE SEASON'

Fabio Quartararo, rather than Dovizioso, was closest to Marquez's time, but the qualifying specialist was less confident of a genuine race challenge.

"Normally I always set myself a goal in terms of position, but I think this race will be the toughest one of the season," Quartararo said.

"This is a track that, for Yamaha, does not suit us really well. But tomorrow is a race where we need to learn from the riders, take experience here from a track where we need to manage the tyres at the begininning of the race.

"We will give 100 per cent and enjoy the race."


THE GRID

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
2. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha)
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha)
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing)
6. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda)
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar)
8. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing)
9. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)
10. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha)
11. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
12. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2018: Jorge Lorenzo
2017: Andrea Dovizioso
2016: Andrea Iannone

TITLE STANDINGS

Riders

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 210
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 147 (-63)
3. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 129 (-81)
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 114 (-96)
5. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 91 (-119)

Teams

1. Repsol Honda 216
2. Ducati 177 (-39)
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 163 (-53)
4. Suzuki Ecstar 131 (-85)
5. KTM 61 (-155)

WEATHER FORECAST

Light showers are anticipated in Spielberg on Sunday morning, but the track may well dry out by the time Marquez and his rivals are in action, giving the pole-sitter the opportunity to ride to an uneventful victory.

Marc Marquez claimed a record-breaking MotoGP pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix to continue his sensational run of form.

The five-time world champion and 2019 standings leader claimed his 59th premier class pole on Saturday, giving him the record outright having equalled Mick Doohan's mark last week.

Marquez obliterated the field in Spielberg, his time of 1:23.027 topping qualifying specialist Fabio Quartararo by 0.434 seconds on Saturday.

It is the Repsol Honda rider's third pole in a row and seventh of the season. He will now seek a race victory at the Red Bull Ring, the only circuit he is yet to win at in his MotoGP career.

Andrea Dovizioso completes the front row after taking third for Ducati, who have won this race in each of the last three years.

Monster Energy Yamaha's Maverick Vinales came fourth, with Francesco Bagnaia of Pramac Racing and LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami impressing to join him on the second row.

Alex Rins, Jack Miller and Cal Crutchlow are on row three, with Valentino Rossi 0.790s off the pace in 10th.

Danilo Petrucci will start 12th behind Pol Espargaro after a Q2 crash ended his hopes of moving up the grid.

Marquez had earlier dominated practice and ended FP3 with an advantage of over three tenths on the other big names to move straight into Q2.

Crutchlow and Bagnaia emerged at the top of the Q1 timesheets to join the top 10 in Q2, while Franco Morbidelli – who will start 14th – was among the riders to miss out on the second session.


PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda): 1:23.027
2. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha): +0.434s
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati): +0.488s
4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha): +0.496s
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing): +0.625s
6. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda): +0.642s
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar): +0.654s
8. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing): +0.661s
9. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda): +0.727s
10. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha): +0.790s
11. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing): +0.839s
12. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati): +0.937s

Repsol Honda chief Alberto Puig has revealed there have been no discussions with Jorge Lorenzo over his future with the MotoGP team.

Three-time MotoGP champion Lorenzo swapped Ducati for Honda at the end of last season, but has struggled to find any form so far in 2019.

Currently injured, Lorenzo sits 16th in the standings, 191 points behind team-mate and runaway leader Marc Marquez. 

Reports have emerged linking the Spaniard with a return to Ducati, but Puig insists his team expect the 32-year-old to be competing for them in 2020.

"I don't think about it because I only know what we know, and we know that we have a contract with him for two years, that ends in 2020," Puig said ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

"So I really don't know what the paddock rumours are or what people are saying, but I can only stick to our plan and the Honda plan which is to have him for this year and next year."

Puig did concede, however, that the situation could change before the end of the campaign.

"In this paddock you are never surprised. I'm used to being in this environment and I know these [rumours] can happen," he added.

"But for me, the only important thing is when the rider comes to you and tells you what he has in his mind.

"I never had any information like this from him, so I have to believe that things are okay. I'm not even thinking if he will leave."

Marc Marquez set the pace on day one of practice for the Austrian MotoGP and Andrea Dovizioso suffered a rare crash pushing for quick time late in FP2.

Dovizioso went quickest in the opening session at the Red Bull Ring on Friday, but the championship leader hit back to top the timesheets.

Italian Dovizioso pipped the Spaniard in FP1 before the Repsol Honda rider turned the tables on his nearest rival with a lap of one minute and 23.916 seconds.

That gave Marquez an advantage of 0.066 over compatriot Maverick Vinales, with Ducati's Dovizioso 0.117 adrift of the three-time defending champion in in Spielberg.

Dovizioso found himself on the deck as he strived to go top of the timesheets, losing control at Turn 3 in the first red sector.

Takaaki Nakagami moved up from ninth in the first session to fourth ahead of Fabio Quartararo and Jack Miller.

Miguel Oliveira, Danilo Petrucci, Cal Crutchlow and Pol Espargaro rounded off the top 10.

Jack Miller believes there is some truth to rumours he could lose his MotoGP ride for 2020 to Jorge Lorenzo.

Australian Miller competes for Ducati satellite team Pramac Racing and sits seventh in the riders' standings heading into this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

Despite two podium finishes this season and numerous discussions with the team, however, he has yet to be offered a contract.

Three-time MotoGP champion Lorenzo has been linked with a return to Ducati after a dismal start to his campaign with Repsol Honda, and, with Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso locked in for the factory team next season, Miller is feeling the uncertainty.

"I think there is some truth to the rumours about Lorenzo," Miller said on Thursday at the Red Bull Ring.

"For sure, he's looking at something because at the moment he's got nothing. He can't ride that Honda. So it's easy to tuck your tail between your legs and run back.

"I think that Pramac love me, want to keep me, most people in Ducati want to keep me. [But] I've got to make sense of why we're in Austria - quite well into the second half of the season and I've two podiums under my belt - and I've still not signed a contract.

"Most of the [contract] details have been sorted, Pramac has agreed to everything they've been asked to agree to, but still no contract has arrived.

"We'll wait and see and all I can do is keep doing my best. This is my first year on the latest material in MotoGP and this is the most competitive era it's ever been in and I've scored two podiums and been in front of those [top] guys on multiple occasions.

"I feel that I've been doing everything I can do in order get myself a job. I'm not stressed at all."

Joan Mir will miss the Austrian MotoGP this weekend following his high-speed crash during testing in Brno.

The Team Suzuki Ecstar rider was flown to Brno Hospital in a helicopter on Monday after an accident at the Automotodrom Brno.

Mir suffered a pulmonary contusion and was kept in hospital under observation.

The Spaniard will not be risked in Spielberg, so Alex Rins will be the only Suzuki rider to race in round 11.

Mir is expected to return in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone later this month.

Team manager Davide Brivio told the Suzuki Ecstar website: "It's a pity that Joan cannot take part in this next round in Austria, but the most important thing is that he recovers in the proper way."

Page 3 of 5
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.