Jack Miller says the poor weather conditions at Phillip Island could play into his hands if Sunday proves to be the only dry day of the race weekend.
Miller, third fastest overall on Friday after lapping exactly half-a-second slower than pacesetter Cal Crutchlow, is targeting a solid result in front of his home fans in the Australian Grand Prix.
The Marc VDS rider returned from injury at Motegi in Japan and Miller was satisfied with his performance in a damp FP1. However, like most of the MotoGP riders he decided against starting the delayed FP2 session, which was eventually cancelled due to deteriorating conditions.
“The morning was pretty good, but track conditions-wise the bike worked pretty well and there was a lot of grip level out there – the tyres seemed to work pretty well,” he said.
“There were no crashes and you can't go wrong with that when conditions were as wet as they were out there today. We were pretty pleased although we had a few small mistakes, we put the wrong shock in, but apart from that everything was all good and I can't complain.
“This afternoon we had no plans to go out because it was far too wet and there was too much water sitting on the ground. We were already aquaplaning in the morning and in the afternoon it was even worse,” added Miller.
“When they red flagged the race in Assen, that was probably the heaviest rain I had even seen, but in terms of safety [it was worse] because this is a different track: it's a different style of track, it's very fast and there's a lot of aquaplaning. Down through turn three, there were almost a few rivers forming and running across the track. I don't want to snap myself in half again, that's for sure.”
Miller said he wasn't surprised to finish the day third quickest and explained that another wet day on Saturday ahead of a potential dry race on Sunday could level the playing field.
“No [not surprised with third], last year in the first session we were fourth. It's been a wet Friday and it looks like being a wet Saturday, then dry on Sunday, so that could benefit us in the long run. The guys on the factory bikes have lost time trying to set up the things they have that are better than what we have, so of course that benefits us.
“It's always good to come back here regardless of the win or injuries or whatever – it feels good to ride around Phillip Island and it's one of my favourite tracks,” Miller said.
“My hand is really good, even better than it was in Japan after having it in plaster for a few weeks. Japan was about getting back on and getting into the rhythm of things and that's what we did there. Now it feels a lot better.
“We did well here on the Open bike last year so with the satellite Honda I hope we are able to be a bit closer and we'll give it a go. I'd be happy with top eight but we'll see.”