Leading Ducati on Friday, leading Ducati on Saturday. But how does the Australian feel heading into Sunday?
The fastest Desmosedici rider on Friday, the fastest Desmosedici rider on Saturday. Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller enjoyed a successful Q2 at the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon after qualifying fourth for Sunday’s MotoGP™ battle.
Compared to last time out at Misano, Miller has been on form this weekend in Spain and when reflecting on Saturday, the Australian was happy to be back up at the sharp end again.
Is Miller prepared for the fight with Marquez tomorrow? 21/09/2019
The Australian rider explains that he followed the Honda rider during the race simulation in FP4 and learned a few things from the Champion
“Yeah definitely, like you said it’s nice to be up there. It would have been nice to get onto that front row but nah, fourth we’ll take it,” began Miller, who has five bikes between him and the next placed Ducati – 10th fastest Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).
“We put in some really hard work in FP4 and even yesterday in FP2, trying to work out what the tyre is going to do. It’s normally quite crucial or demanding here in the race, especially on the left-hand side so we’ve been trying to get the laps up and understand. Get the maps right, get the settings right to be as strong as possible for the end of the race.”
The Pramac man was fifth quickest in the 30-minute FP4 session behind Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), the Yamahas of Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and the Team Suzuki Ecstar of Alex Rins. However, during the crucial session, Miller was able to get a closer look at Aragon’s in-form man – Championship leader Marquez.
“Marc and I stayed out for the whole time, we both did 17 laps,” commented Miller, who examined that the Repsol Honda man had – on average – two or three tenths per lap on him. But, more importantly, it allowed Miller to understand where he can improve his lap time ahead of the race.
MotoGP™ Q2 at the Aragon GP: The fight for pole position 21/09/2019
The battle for pole is on! Who will set the fastest lap and start from the front of the grid?
“Towards the end of the session he caught me and passed me, so it was almost like a race simulation. I got to see and understand where he was pulling me. On average he had about two or three tenths on me a lap on the whole 17 laps. I saw where he was making up time on me and where I was making up time on him, which were very few areas but there were a couple, so I’ll take that as a positive but I understood where I was losing the most to him, and in quite important parts of the track.
“We got some work to do tonight to dial the bike in just a little bit more but very happy, we’ve done a great job so far this weekend and I’m looking forward to hopefully a strong race. It’s night and day compared to Misano so I’m super happy to be back in the front positions.”
Marquez seemingly has superior pace, but anything can happen on a Sunday afternoon in MotoGP™. Miller could easily be in the lead at Turn 1 from P4 on the grid, as his hopes of returning to the podium are increased thanks to a great day at the office on Saturday. Tune in to see Miller lead the Ducati challenge at 13:00 local time (GMT 2).
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