KTM’s Jack Miller testing aero: “We’re playing, literally, with thin air!”

KTM and Aprilia have caught the eye with their bold aerodynamics at the MotoGP Sepang test

Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Jack Miller has offered insight into the aero testing that he has undertaken at the MotoGP Sepang test.

KTM test rider Dani Pedrosa ran with some eye-catching aero at the shakedown last week, and on the second day (Wednesday) of the official test in Malaysia, factory rider Miller’s bike was fitted with a similarly radical design.

KTM and Aprilia have both been noticeable for the bold aerodynamics on their bikes at the Sepang test.

Gresini Ducati’s Marc Marquez insisted that the increasing impact of aero in MotoGP was a negative which he did not like, comparing it to Formula 1.

Miller said after the second day of the Sepang test: “We’re playing, literally, with thin air here.

“They look radical and the changes look massive but, in all honesty, it’s not massively big changes.

“There are minute changes here, there and everywhere.

“The thing is… it affects the bike everywhere. Drive, on the maximum lean angle, tipping the bike in, braking.

“There are so many variables that go into testing this stuff.

“That’s why it’s hard to nail together a decent package because there are so many variables between items.

“You are trying to understand. That’s why we are so busy doing so many laps, trying to understand what we do and do not like, to piece it together properly.”

He added about trialling the aero: “I feel, sometimes, surprised.

“The biggest thing, when testing aero, in our camp is that the feedback from all riders is similar. In terms of what you’re feeling on the bike.

“It’s clear to understand.

“If you test the shock, you usually get variation in riders’ comments.

“But between our guys, a lot of the comments after testing the items, and asking what the other guys’ feedback was… it’s all pretty similar.

“It’s relatively clear. You can understand it easier than a swingarm.”

Miller was 15th-fastest on Wednesday, +1.166s behind the pace-setter Enea Bastianini.

His teammate Brad Binder was third, while on Tuesday Tech3 GASGAS’ Pedro Acosta was second.

The early signs are bright for KTM ahead of the 2024 MotoGP season.

Miller detailed his Wednesday: “Decent Day 2. I was able to find a little bit more, this morning.

“When I put the new tyre on this morning, it wasn’t really the combination that I overly like.

“But another busy day, just trying all sorts of combinations. The pros and cons of each.

“The bike itself works really well. We’re trying to find those last little details.

“It has been a productive day for us, with no shortage of things to try. The boys keep throwing it at the bike.

“Just trying to find more grip, more front-end stability. We tried different aero packages which were really good for the grip department but took away the front stability. It’s about trying to find balance.

“It was my fastest lap, and I didn’t have the combination which I was overly confident with.

“Coming into an FP2 on a race weekend we should be able to fire a decent lap at it.”

He added: “The left-hand side is decent, the right-hand side is unpredictable.”

But it’s all about the aerodynamics for KTM at the moment.

“We are playing with combinations to see what works,” he said. “Various configurations.

“We’ve got the package. Then there are different pieces. We’re trying to work out what is positive and what is negative.

“We are trying to work out the aero package for the first half of the season.”

The third and final day of testing in Sepang is on Thursday.

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