Jack Miller feels a front row in qualifying at the Thailand MotoGP could have been possible but lamented continually going deep into the final corner – something he hadn’t done all weekend until Q2.

The Pramac Ducati rider looked set to challenge the front-running trio of Fabio Quartararo, Maverick Vinales and Marc Marquez but faded back to sixth place in qualifying after messing up the final corner during Q2 – which saw Franco Morbidelli and Danilo Petrucci push the Australian to the back of the second row.

But having demonstrated impressive race pace in FP4, consistently lapping in the 1m 31s bracket, Miller is confident he can make amends in the sprint to the first corner using Ducati’s holeshot device.

“I just didn’t get a clean lap in,” Miller said. “I hadn’t gone long in the last corner all weekend, and I seemed to go long every time in the qualifying. The boys were really strong, they were both trying really hard, as you could see, they threw it in the gravel, so that means they’re having a dig.

“I’m feeling good, more happy with the result of FP4, was able to maintain my pace alone, keep low 1m 31s. Pretty happy with that, I think that’s going to be the ideal race pace.

“Second row inside, I should be able to get a decent jump from there and hopefully jump forward a row.”

With many labelling Miller’s performance in Aragon charging to third place last time out as one of his best in his MotoGP career, the Australian rider wants to repeat that feat having produced strong race pace in FP4.

“I’m hoping it’s the same as it’s been in the last couple of Grand Prix, where Yamaha have had this corking pace through the free practices and they can’t seem to get it in the race, that’d be really nice,” he said.

“But we’ll have to wait and see what tomorrow brings. It’ll be a whole lot of guys trying to save their tyres towards the end.

“I did a long run on FP4, 12 laps, all of them were 1m 31s lows, up until I finally noticed that Marc was following me for the majority of nearly eight or nine laps. So I rolled out, he rolled out, and I just cruised around for that lap, he went into the box and I just continued on my merry way.

“But I felt really good, I think we can keep that pace, mid to low 1m 31s, and I think that’s looking at a good chance for the podium.

“Seems like Yamaha have upped their game in terms of horsepower this weekend, it doesn’t seem too slow, so we’ll hope to make a good jump off the start and like I said, try and get in the fresh air as early as possible and just try and stay there as much as possible.”

Miller is fighting Quartararo, who starts from pole, for top Independent honours this season. The Petronas Yamaha rider has a six-point advantage going into the Thailand round.

 

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