Jack Miller believes there is still more to come from both himself and his Pramac Ducati GP17 after showing strongly in both of Friday’s MotoGP free practice sessions at Motegi.

The Australian was eighth quickest in the dry morning session, before remaining true to form in the afternoon, fitting slick tyres before anyone to attack a damp but drying track.

“We’ve got a little up our sleeve,” said Miller, referencing his eighth fastest time in the morning, which included a mistake in turn six, which carried through to turn seven.

The one-time MotoGP race winner also vowed to work on braking, especially at the critical downhill turn eleven. It was there where Miller was experiencing too much lifting of the rear tyre for his liking.

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“The first session was good,” said Miller, 0.907s back of pace setter Andrea Dovizioso at the close of Friday's action.

“I felt comfortable immediately on the bike. We’ve got a little bit of work to do on the set-up for here but in general I’m really happy. I didn’t do the best lap this morning. I made a mistake when the tyre was at its perfect position, when it was the perfect time for the lap.

“I was really up in the first two sectors. I made a mistake coming out of the tunnel through the right hander. I just used too much and couldn’t bring the bike back over for the next left. We know we’ve got a little bit up our sleeve.

“This afternoon I could see it was too dry for wets and I didn’t really want to waste a set of wets. So I just waited for the end. We were the first ones again to go out on the slick tyres. I put in a few laps on the used ones from this morning. It was alright.”

Ducati has experienced much success in Japan in the four-stroke MotoGP era, with four wins coming across the past 13 years.

On how the bike is suited to the stop-start nature of the 2.9-mile track, Miller commented, “Yeah, it’s good. Like I said, we’ve got a little bit of work to do, especially in the braking zones.

“Mainly when we’re going [braking] downhill I seem to be lifting the rear a lot more than I like. I’m not able to use as much pressure as I’d like because it feels like we’ll go over.

“Generally through the year we’ve been struggling more with lock rather than this. It’s nice to have this problem. We still have some things to understand. But we’re not far away.”

 

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