Jack Miller is adamant that local knowledge can trump machinery when it comes to success in this weekend's Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island.

The unique challenge of the fast and flowing seaside circuit means that, according to Miller, the bike matters less than at other circuits.

Hailing the performances of Casey Stoner, who always rose to the occasion to claim a perfect six home wins for Ducati and Honda from 2007-2012, Miller said he's not worried by Ducati's subsequent difficulties at Phillip Island.

The Pramac rider was fast last year on a GP17 and now has the latest GP19, which he hopes can build on the improved Phillip Island form of the GP18.

"It's been a tough track for Ducati in the last few years, but no matter where Casey was in other races he'd always turn it on here, no matter what," Miller said at Phillip Island on Thursday.

"Last year I was on the GP17, which Dovi and those guys couldn't get inside the top ten with here and managed to fight for victory for much of the race and then dropped back to seventh.

"I think the bike is one part of it, but you've got to know how to go around here as well.

"You've got to ride this place different in general, it doesn't matter if it's a Ducati, a Honda or what. Some of the rookies might find it a little bit harder because it is so different here, but we'll have to wait and see."

Miller added that you need to ride the bike, "more on the rear. You've got to manage the wheelie a lot more. Just stuff like that. Especially going into Turn 3 and places like that, you need experience to understand how to go quick through there."

Managing tyre wear is also essential.

"It's always one of the tracks where you've got to be a little bit careful, because you can overdo it and then struggle. But I learned a lot last year, I learned some more this year and I think we should be in a good position come Sunday's race with the experience we have."

Indeed, Australia's first premier-class world champion Wayne Gardner feels Miller could be in contention for a first dry MotoGP win this weekend.

"I appreciate it but we'll wait and see," Miller responded. "I hope so. I hope we can repeat what Wayne's done here in the past, but we'll have to wait and see. I'll give it 130% that's for sure."

Miller - having by far his best MotoGP season with 125-points, eighth place in the world championship and three podiums - even feels the added home attention might help him relax.

"It's always a bit hectic here but I enjoy it. It almost helps you stay a little bit more relaxed I guess; you're not focussed solely on the bike," he said.

"You can put your mind in other places a little bit more and just relax, which helps some riders and some find it hard. I'd like to think I'm one of the riders that finds it alright, but we’ll see."

Miller won at Phillip Island as a Moto3 rider in 2014 and has qualified in the front two rows for the past three seasons, taking a best finish of seventh.

Factory Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Alvaro Bautista were third and fourth on the GP18 at Phillip Island last season, when Miller finished at the tail of the lead group.

 

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