Home hero Jack Miller believes he has the pace to be competitive in both wet and dry conditions after narrowly missing out on a top three qualifying spot on Saturday at Phillip Island.

Having impressed in wet conditions throughout free practice, Miller sat third as the chequered flag was readied at the close of Q2, only for Pol and Aleix Espargaro to make late improvements, pushing the Australian back to fifth.

Miller feels the lack of dry set-up time can be of benefit on Sunday, as factory teams will not have had time to meticulously hone settings.

"Of course I want to do good, and I believe we've got the speed this weekend in the dry as well as in the wet, so I'm not too stressed either way. I'd like it to be dry and I think it could be alright.

"The bike's the bike, like I said, it sort of helps us that we haven't too much dry time on the bike, because it helps us set up wise, because if we all go out with the same set up and then push.

"I feel that's when we can excel a little bit more, when the bike's not perfect. Trying to get our bike to work perfectly, that's the hard thing."

Along with pole sitter Marc Marquez, Miller was the first to pit for slick tyres during an absorbing Q2 session, held on a damp-but-drying track.

While Marquez left pit lane with front and rear slicks, 21-year old Miller completed the end of the session on a slick rear and intermediate front, which may have cost him a shot at qualifying even higher.

"I wanted to put the slicks on, but I came in, I did one lap with a wet front, intermediate rear and I didn't even complete it, I pulled in, me and Marc pulled in at exactly the same time.

"I said to the boys, ;we need to put slicks on', and they said, 'well we don't really have time' and we got told it was going to rain, so they sent me out on intermediates expecting to have the second bike done up into a dry bike with slicks for the second pit stop, but it wasn't to be. "We just had to take what we had, we didn't have much time.

On the intermediate tyres, he added, "I was surprised to be honest. That was my first ever time riding on the intermediate, and it seemed to work alright.

"I don't know how long it would last for, it definitely felt soft. But you were able to push, I was pushing hard. To do a 31 something and have a big mistake on the last corner, and my best lap time around here is about a 29.9, so it's not bad with an intermediate front.

Asked whether he wants a wet race, Miller said, "No, not at all. I mean to these boys earlier, thirty laps around here in the wet's not going to be very fun, but we'll take what we can, we'll do our best.

"Like I said, there's no point me putting my two cents in, because everyone else is wishing it to be dry, I'm wishing it to be dry. Not only for myself, but for the fans, they're sat out there freezing their arses off all weekend."


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