Jack Miller continued his impressive start to the 2018 MotoGP season by setting the eighth fastest time - directly behind factory Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo - during Friday practice at Jerez.

"The shoulder's still not 100% but definitely I feel pretty good out there," said the Australian, who was injured in a mountain bike accident prior to Austin.

"I'm happy with the performance and when you can go out there and do those lap times by yourself, like I'm doing, it sets the goal for qualifying a little bit higher, when you put that rabbit in front of you.

"At the moment the bike works pretty well. Every step we've made has been in the right direction to get more comfortable. Still a few little things to iron out for tomorrow but nothing crazy, just stuff with electronics and a little bit more chassis wise."

Miller, who arrived at Pramac after three seasons on Honda machinery, said that he still uses the rear brake as much as on the RC213V, but in very different areas.

"I'd hate to see the temperature on the rear brake but I'm burying that thing. I don’t think it gets much of a rest!

"With the Honda it was more to try and stop wheelie and stuff like that, as well as stop the bike. This one [Ducati] is more just to help it to turn a little bit. You can get the bike to squat.

"The bike's working really well. I can't fault it.

"Especially through these last sectors, which I was struggling at in the test. Now I feel a lot more comfortable and can pick my line. So we've made steps in the right direction."

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As well as matching the outright pace of the factory Ducati riders, Miller - on last year's GP17 - was also three places higher than team-mate Danilo Petrucci on the other GP18.

All four riders are yet to confirm their 2019 plans.

"As everyone knows I've got an option with Ducati, so it's whether or not they use the option," Miller said of next season. "Aki [Ajo] is still my manager. He's good. You don’t hear anything because he's nice and quiet!"

Rewinding a little, Miller famously jumped directly from Moto3 to MotoGP in 2015, skipping out the Moto2 class.

There were plenty of critics at the time, but Miller became a MotoGP race winner in 2016 and came close to another podium in Argentina this year. He arrives at Jerez eighth in the world championship.

Current rookie Takaaki Nakagami has expressed the opinion that a Moto3-to-MotoGP route might actually be preferable.

"In my experience, [Moto2] would have taught me what I learned in my first season [in MotoGP], which was riding with a bigger bike. It takes a lot more to stop. That sort of stuff," commented Miller.

"But in terms of riding technique and how you need to ride this [MotoGP] bike, I think it's completely different [to Moto2]. In [Moto2] they open the corners with a lot of angle, whereas these things don’t.

"Guys like Cal have come through World Supersport and Superbike… Everyone has to find their own path I guess. And that was mine."

Crutchlow set the Friday pace at Jerez for LCR Honda, with a time 0.488s ahead of Miller.

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