Jack Miller has reflected on a positive Friday ahead of the Valencia MotoGP stalled by a fall midway through FP2 which he joked “proved I am not Marc Marquez”.

The Pramac Ducati rider narrowly missed out on topping the opening practice behind Fabio Quartararo before being shuffled back to fourth place in the afternoon practice but only 0.265s off the timesheet-topping Petronas Yamaha rider.

Miller, who still has an outside shot at the MotoGP Independent riders’ title this weekend, says his lowside at Turn 2 was caused by a worn out front tyre offset by a fresh hard rear tyre as he raced against time to assess Michelin’s tyre options for Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Having walked away unscathed from the off minus some race leather scuffs, Miller smiled at failing to live up to Marquez’s high standards of saving crashes.

“The crash was one of those things. I quickly wanted to try the hard rear, I had 15 laps on the front and we knew it was going to be a little bit risky with the new rear after a 15-lap run,” Miller said. “But we gave it a go and at Turn 2, I tried to save it the best I could but I proved I am not Marc Marquez!

“All that was missing was having any front grip whatsoever. I had such a big opposite with the new rear and completely used front so I was pushing shit uphill with the shovel. The rear kept pushing the front and I was trying to do my best.

“It is a good first day, the feeling on the bike is good so all positive at the minute. We have got a little bit of work we can do but for the moment I am very happy.”

With his track time on the hard rear tyre curtailed by his crash, Miller is still eager to assess the tyre option with one eye on the 2019 MotoGP season finale after suffering with tyre wear last time out in the Malaysia race opting for a soft rear.

“Hopefully we will have some decent weather and we are able to try the hard tyre for a decent run tomorrow rather than one lap and a crash,” he said. “In general just focus and keep doing more of what we’ve been doing, more and more laps and get a feeling for the race.”

Miller needs to win in Valencia and see Quartararo finish 14th place or lower to rescue his unlikely hopes of securing the MotoGP Independent riders’ title.

 

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