Fastest in Friday afternoon's wet free practice session, Jack Miller was impressed by the grip of Sepang's new, re-laid surface in damp conditions, saying the grip “felt pretty good.”
Miller shrugged off a morning crash to top FP2 thanks to a bold decision to exit pit lane aboard slicks when the track was still far from fully dry.
In the end, the 21-year old Australian ended the afternoon 0.39s up on Cal Cruthclow, but his morning performance of 16th in the dry may force him into Q1, should riders not face dry conditions on Saturday morning.
“It was alright,” started Miller, who scored a strong top ten finish at his home GP at Phillip Island five days ago.
“This morning was a bit s**t. I just crashed this morning on my best lap. That last corner is a bit tricky. I just didn't quite have the settings right. But it was alright.
“Today we had more of those tricky conditions. We pulled though and came to plan. We were the ones that took the biggest gamble on the slick tyres.
“The track was still pretty wet but I feel that it handles and the grip level of the track in the wet is pretty good. The dampest part of the track is turn three –that's the slippiest. The rest wasn't too bad.
“The tyres came up to temperature pretty good. The good thing was the braking zones were pretty dry so you're able to do what you want with the front. The rest is OK. I just warmed them up for one lap and the next they felt pretty good.”
On the lack of grip in certain places thanks to wet patches around the track, Miller continued, “Yeah, there could be patches, definitely. For race day it could be a little bit sketchy.
“We knew already coming into this one that it was going to be a little bit like that, in terms of the track. We had heard rumours that it wasn't drying as expected but in terms of the resurface I think they've done a good job.
“It's really nice to have corner seven, eight and nine, the double right, that's not bumpy as f**k anymore. That's pretty nice. The track was pretty dirty, especially the braking zone into nine.
“They've done a lot of work there, filling the wet spots with a lot of concrete dust. It was pretty dirty but apart from that the track wasn't too bad. And it was getting better toward the end of the session there as well.”
Miller also revealed that he will not test Honda's 2017 machine at the post-race test in Valencia. He remains hopeful he will sample the machine however in a private test at Jerez at the close of November.
“We saw this morning that the bike is a little bit slower. It is working with what we've got. We've got two more races and then we'll start getting some new stuff for next year.
“It won't be at the Valencia test, for sure. I know we're trying to see if I can get it for the Jerez test, because I'll be doing that. But it all depends what's going on over there in the orange garage before I know when we're going to get it.”