As the dust settled on an incident packed qualifying session, it appeared that even Jack Miller was slightly taken aback by his turn of pace, with the Australian equaling his best ever Saturday showing in MotoGP just 23 days after fracturing his right leg.

Miller placed fifth in the 15-minute Q2 shootout after gaining a tow from championship leader Marc Marquez early on, but this was no flash in the pan. The 22-year old was building on a weekend of promise, during which he has been a regular fixture in the top ten.

The result, which betters his previous best qualifying showing in 2017 by five places, was made all the more remarkable by Miller’s physical condition. Just three weeks ago he broke his right leg. Here, he played down the injury, instead stating the limb is improving day-by-day.

“I made a little mistake myself, but I spent the majority of my time messing around with Marc, Dani [Pedrosa], and Pol [Espargaro],” said Miller. “Nobody really wanted to go. I gave Marc a slipstream and then he returned the favour. That was pretty nice of him.

“But the rest of it was good. I’m happy with the performance today. The bike's working really well, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I think it's going to be a good race, the leg shouldn't give me too much grief over race distance. I feel pretty good on it at the minute. I’m just keen to get it underway now.

“I always want to challenge, especially when I come home to the Island, but even this is exceeding it. I'm really happy, like I said I felt good from day one since I got on the bike, and it's just been going from strength to strength.

“I felt better again on the bike today, the muscles are getting used to being used again, and I'm hoping tomorrow's going to be even better again.”

On Friday, Miller pointed to the change of direction between turns seven and eight being particularly problematic for his right leg. A day on however, and the one-time MotoGP race winner feels the injury was not as much of a hindrance.

“[It was] Better again today. Definitely. I didn't seem to struggle as much today, especially Turn seven to eight, that felt better again today. So I don't know if it's just getting more strength in the leg, getting some blood going through the muscle or what.

“But all my style is adapted to it, and I felt pretty good, and I feel really really comfortable on the bike. I'm just hoping we can continue this form until tomorrow.”

So what is the aim for Sunday’s 27-lap race? “Everything and anything, I guess,” he said. “I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but we're just going to have to do all we can. My goal is try to get a decent start, try not to get caught up in anything on the first laps, especially between Turn three and Turn four, and being fifth on the grid should make that a little bit easier.

“And yes, just try to follow the front guys as long as possible and see where we end up at the end. If I can stick with them for the majority of the race, I think we can come away in a good position. But it's hard to say, it depends, so I'll just say top eight.”


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