Jack Miller has stated he is currently riding with greater confidence than at any point in his time as a MotoGP rider after displaying quick speed and unerring consistency in Thailand on Saturday.

Following on from a highly positive outing at Sepang, the Australian ended the second day of testing at the Chang International Circuit with the third fastest time after spending the morning and afternoon working on making soft rear tyre compounds work over race distance.

The results spoke for themselves; Miller felt he could lap consistently in the low 1m 31s, and the ease at which he did so was a great boost. So much so he said he hasn’t felt as assured on a bike since 2014, when he challenged for the Moto3 world title.

“In the last four years I don’t think I’ve ever felt this comfortable,” Miller said on Saturday afternoon, before posting his best lap of the day, a 1m 30.185s. “Being able to do the things that I can do, I haven’t been this self-confident with my riding since I was in Moto3.

“I feel this bike really reacts to my feelings and I can follow it. Of course, we’re still in the early days of testing. We need to keep the feet on the ground and keep working. Of course, I’m really happy with how we’re working.”

Knowing the Ducati GP17’s ability to make soft rear tyre compounds work in racing conditions, Miller said he and the Pramac team had made a concerted effort to focus on running the soft over a considerable number of laps.

“That’s been our main thing,” he said. “I’m one of the lighter guys on the Ducati and I feel I can make it work. It is working. I’m getting 27 or 28 laps and still getting 31.0s.

“I can’t fault how the bike’s working on the tyre. We made a step this morning to increase the tyre life and I feel it’s done that. The bike is working really well and in a correct way.

“Still we didn’t put the new tyre option in the front. I did the [earlier] lap time [Miller was inside the top six when he spoke to the press mid-afternoon] with 16 laps on the front tyre and a new rear so I was pushing a little. I know in a few other places where I can improve.

“I’m very happy. My best time is a 1m 30.7s and I was doing 1m 31.0s with eleven laps on the rear tyre. I’m really consistent, close to my best time and the bike is working faultlessly. I cannot complain. We have a few little problems. We fix them and I’m happy at the moment, that’s for sure.”

Has his performance in Buriram come as a surprise? “Just the consistency [has],” replied the 23-year old. “I’m able to run. Last year I felt I was able to do my best lap once or twice but I definitely wasn’t able to do them four in a row.

“Now this year I’m fitter and am just able to get in my rhythm and smack out seven or eight-lap runs all within three tenths of each other. It’s great to get that rhythm, where you’re happy and you don’t feel as though you’re struggling in certain areas.”

“For me it feels more natural. I have an understanding of where the tyres are and I’m feeling that every lap.”



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