6 February 2015
Sepang MotoGP Test: One step at a time for hot prospect Miller
'Valentino Rossi jumped in front of me and I sat up his ass the whole lap... I nearly ran into him because I went to brake like I would in Moto3' - Jack Miller
MotoGP prospect Jack Miller is taking his transition to the premier class step by step as the former Moto3 star grapples with the unforgiving nature of Honda's RC213V-RS.
The colourful Aussie says he still has a mountain to climb with his CWM LCR Honda, but the Open class recruit is enjoying every minute of the experience after concluding the first MotoGP test at Sepang in Malaysia.
Miller improved his lap time to 2m 01.895s on the final day of the shakedown to finish 20th fastest and even grabbed the opportunity to shadow Valentino Rossi for a lap, even if he almost rammed the Movistar Yamaha rider at the final corner.
“I've learned about 10 per cent of the 100 per cent that I need to; every time I ride the bike I'm getting more and more used to the brakes, the power and everything like that; the muscles you use to ride this bike are completely different to anything else you do in everyday life, so we're getting used to that but we're making steps forward,” said Miller.
“My biggest problem at the moment is that we're still struggling with a lot of spin; we're still running next to no traction control and the thing just lights up but the next test will be more to do with the new Magneti Marelli system and how to work with the electronics but now I'm just learning to ride a MotoGP bike.
“The lap times have been quite good, I was alone and then on the next lap [Valentino] Rossi jumped in front of me and I sat up his ass the whole lap,” Miller added. “I'm just getting used to the MotoGP bike and I came into the last corner and I nearly ran into him because I went to brake like I would in Moto3.
“The Honda is really good on the brakes and it's good to compare to other bikes because that was the first time I really had someone in front of me. I messed that lap up but I was consistently doing low 2m 02s and I'm quite happy with it.”
Miller, who jumped straight up to the MotoGP class from Moto3, has been working on altering his style as he attempts to master the 'stand it up, fire it out' technique on the Honda.
“My style has changed considerably and it still needs to for picking the bike up and driving it out and not opening too much on the edge because it starts to spin early; we're learning step by step but it's not easy for sure,” said Miller.
“It's all just about finding out where the limit is on the front tyre because with the Bridgestone front it just seems to be there, be there, be there… and it's not like anything else I've ridden with. But when it goes it's awful hard to save it and you've got to hold it on your knee, but it's not an 80 kilo Moto3 bike and it's a lot heavier that's for sure.
“It's our first test on this bike and we are where we expected but we seem to be getting more and more comfortable and I'm starting to work out how to use these tyres when they are new.”
Miller also undertook a simulation and was struck by the physical effort required to manhandle a MotoGP machine for a sustained period on track, made even more demanding by the Malaysian heat.
“We did just a little bit under race distance [in the simulation] and it was really good consistently on the first five laps, all 2m 02 lows, and then I had a couple of moments two laps in a row when I lost the front a little bit,” he said.
“I lost a little bit of confidence but it was all to do with the fuel load dropping and I've never really dealt with that before. After that it took me a couple more laps to get up to speed but it was definitely hard, especially around here because it is so physical and my leg got cooked.”
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