Jack Miller was more than content with his showing at the first MotoGP test of 2018, the Australian posting the fifth fastest time on each of the three days at Sepang while feeling “very, very strong.”

The Australian continued his adaption to the Ducati GP17 he will ride in Pramac colours in blistering heat, and posted a race simulation on Tuesday which proved he can boast of consistency as well as outright speed.

Miller’s fastest time of the test – set before midday - was just 0.516s off Jorge Lorenzo’s new outright circuit record, but a 15-lap stint in the early afternoon saw the 23-year old post a succession of times in the mid-2m 0s – not far off the day’s fastest pace.

“I feel it was a positive test for us, in terms of the race simulation,” said Miller, coming into his fourth season in MotoGP. “I didn't go out there and go crazy and try to do a 1'59 at the start, I really eased into it, but I did a stint of laps, all 2'00.3s, and I felt very, very strong.

“Nearly up until lap 12 we were still in the 2'00 mark, and then the seat came off and I got a little bit flustered and not as focused as I should be, but once I fixed that, I was able to bring the lap times down for a couple of laps. Just needed to take the information on how the tyres wear.

“Also, on the long run it's different, to go out and do four laps or five laps and then come in, you can do 30 laps on the tyre and not have the same feeling if you are constantly on the tyre, overheating it or whatever. Especially here today when the track was very hot.”

Pressed for his impressions of the GP17 after seven days of testing, Miller noted the machine can post extremely fast times with some “margin” left, quite a different experience to Honda’s RC213V that he rode for the past two years.

“[It’s] Pretty good,” he said. “I mean, I had a small spill this morning, simply my own fault, I went out there and started to push a little bit too hard too early. I ran wide at one of the corners but the lap was still a 2m 00.7s on the first lap.

“Then the second lap, I just got a little carried away and had a little shake between turns one and two and dropped the front. But apart from that, I haven't really had any moments. I feel like I have a margin I can play with at the moment.

“I feel also the Ducati gives you this feeling like you have a margin, I feel you have to ride it in its strong points. With the Honda before, its strong points was braking crazy late right the way to the apex of the corner.

“With this bike, you have to take it a little easier on the entry – I'm not saying you don't brake very late because it's good in braking – but you ride it in a different style.

“After the last three years, this sort of feels foreign to me, so it's just sort of getting my head around it, because I think this can help for the lap time as well. If you look at Dovi or any of those guys, when they do the lap time, they don't really look like they're pushing that hard.”

When asked whether the machine feels different when running on a full tank compared to a half tank, Miller added, “We sort of rushed to do the race simulation, so the tyres weren't quite at the right temperature, so we were a little bit low on the pressure at the rear, which I could feel towards the end of the run.

“But apart from that, the bike felt really, really good. I couldn't fault it. And like most of the time, we've been running on half a tank of fuel, and running on a full fuel tank, I didn't really feel much of a difference.”

Comments

Loading Comments...