Jack Miller has spoken of his first experiences with HRC's latest 'big bang' MotoGP engine, which he tried for the first time on Friday's opening night of the Qatar test.

Along with Marc VDS Honda team-mate Tito Rabat, Miller had the same spec engine as Repsol stars Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, plus LCR's Cal Crutchlow have used since Sepang. And although he got off to a slow start, the Australian ended the night in 14th, 1.1s off the fastest time.

Willing to go into a little detail on the engine's positive points, Miller said the newest spec shares the characteristics of HRC's first 'big-bang' motor, which he had tried at four previous tests: a smooth, manageable power delivery in the low RPM.

According to the 22-year old, the new engine has more power in the higher revs, and while it may have been a touch unwieldy in places, he hopes overnight adjustments to his settings will make it a little easier to ride.

"We were fortunate to get the new engine today," said Miller on Friday night. "We were lucky enough to get it in both bikes. We were doing a lot of re-adjusting and getting the bike set-up for that new spec of engine and the new power curve and whatnot.

"It's pretty positive. I'm pretty happy with how everything works. I had the big bang engine in the first couple of tests. The latest spec has a bit more power. It's similar to the last one off the bottom, which I was really happy with.

"Also we've got some decent top speed on the front straight, with decent power. It seems to be working alright. I seem to be struggling a bit with the front end of the bike. I need to get it a bit more consistent.

"We seem to make a mistake or have a bit too much movement in the middle of the corner. It doesn't quite hold its line as well. Especially, around here today, with how dirty the track was, we needed it to stay on the line. It was about a foot, maybe two feet wide, where it was clean. The rest was like a motocross track."

Comparing the engine to what he rode at tests in Jerez, Malaysia and Australia, he continued, "I haven't noticed too much in the bottom, a change in the power curve.

"I can feel we've got a bit more up top. The note is a bit different. But the characteristics are nice. It's to my liking. It's very smooth. It behaves well. I find it a bit better than last year's engine, especially here.

"Like in turn one, turn two, turn seven. We sort of crack the gas on early just to take the engine brake away. Whereas last year when you do that it almost started spinning, because it was so aggressive.

"This year it's more linear off the bottom and it seems to be able to take the grip the whole way through. [You can] Apply it smoothly to the Michelin tyre. I think it's really necessary for that tyre."

And was it really a great deal more difficult to ride than what he tested before, as Crutchlow claimed at the recent test at Phillip Island?

"Today we were a little bit back to fighting with it," he conceded. "But I think it's just a little bit playing with the balance. The problem was today if I got a bit upset, like between four and five, you drift out to the kerb and then you come back in.

"If I drift out - the kerbs are a bit slippery at the moment, as they always are on the first day - and hit the kerb, that upsets the bike and it starts shaking, it's very difficult to bring it back in on the line. If I can keep the bike calm and very smooth then it was alright.

"We've got to make the bike just a bit more user-friendly, especially for here with the clean line only being a foot and a half wide. It's definitely key to doing the lap times around here and being consistent. It's definitely something that is our main focus for tomorrow but it was really positive today.

"It was my fastest lap around here, I'm pretty sure. I don't feel over the limit. A lot of people were crashing later on this evening. I did feel good all evening. I didn't really push myself out of my comfort zone.

"I feel like I've got a bit more up my sleeve. I think the closer we get to the front it's going to be harder and harder. For the moment I'm really happy with the behaviour of the bike. We have to rebalance it for this track but it's nothing major, you know?"



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