Jack Miller knows a thing or two about lucky escapes. Following his terrifying impact with a trackside barrier at Le Mans a year ago, the Australian recalled another near miss at Mugello, after impacting a tyre wall in MotoGP FP3.

Pushing early into the Saturday morning session, Miller tucked the front of his Pramac Ducati GP18 on the downhill approach to Correntaio (turn twelve), only to find moments later he saved it. His trajectory, however, was altered, and with the outside wall fast approaching, the 23-year old had to jump.

A heavy impact followed. “I hit the wall and bounced back,” he said. Thankfully his bike took another course, and impacted away from him. “I was lucky,” he conceded, before adding the proximity of the outside wall to the track was a concern – an issue he intends to bring up in the next Safety Commission meeting.

“[I’m] Disappointed to be honest, thinking, ‘What could have been,’” reflected Miller after qualifying eleventh, a position that doesn’t quite reflect the promise shown throughout the weekend.

“I honestly shot myself in the foot this morning riding into the wall, which didn’t help. I was just out this morning doing laps on a used tyre and braking into the hairpin before the last chicane. As I came over the top of the crest it locked the front and I managed to save it, which was actually a pain in the arse because by the time it got straight I was going toward the wall.

“I had to jump off, hit the wall,” he said. “It was a biggy. It was a big one. Like, I locked and my knee hit the ground and wrapped around. That’s the only gravel rash on my leathers, because it then stood up and I rode into the gravel. But the fucking wall’s so close.

“I saw the wall, thought, ‘F**k this’, grabbed a handful of brakes and laid it over. And as I did that I tumbled, hit the wall and bounced back. I was lucky the bike hit the wall next to me and didn’t follow me to the wall. I was lucky. That wall’s very close.”

What followed was a frustrating end to FP3, which left him outside the top ten and in need of a path through Q1. Miller would go on to set the quickest lap time, ahead of Maverick Viñales, but he used up the day’s amount of his favoured front tyre in the process.

“So I came back out and my confidence was a bit shaken up,” admitted Miller. “I got some lap times in but I was really struggling with the first couple of softs. Like I said yesterday, I was disappointed because I just didn’t have the speed. I had to go through Q1 which was a pain in the arse. I was really happy with my speed in Q1, alone, to do a 46.7s.

“But that was my medium front tyre gone. When I went through to Q2 I only had the hard. But the hard is actually softer than the medium. It’s like the ‘P’ rubber [medium] but with a softer case.

“I was just locking the front everywhere, especially where I had already binned it. I was a bit nervous. My time from Q1 would have been good enough for about eighth. It is what it is. Our race pace on used tyres is really good. I’m really happy. I’ve been there all weekend. We’ve just made work a little harder for ourselves.”

Miller is nonetheless hopeful of another strong showing on Sunday, and feels his pace is comparable to Le Mans, where he scored a fine fourth place. “Anything’s possible as we’ve seen throughout the year.

“I feel, in terms of pace, we’re close to what we had at Le Mans. On used tyres and outright pace. I know a lot of guys are looking at the softer option tyre. Me, I like a lot the medium. The soft, I get a lot of movement, flex of the tyre. I’ll probably go with the medium.

“I feel I’ve got the speed at the start of the race to go with the guys on the soft and I hope at the end of the race I’ll have a little bit more tread – in a perfect world, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow. There is always a question mark because the grip level is always out there after Moto2 and Moto3 have been out there. We just have to wait and see, but like I said, anything’s possible.”

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