Jack Miller confirmed the first version of Ducati’s 2020 engine is “an improvement” on what he raced throughout this year, stating its character is “nice” after the first day of MotoGP testing at Jerez.

After testing the first version of Ducati’s new bike at Valencia in factory rider Danilo Petrucci’s absence, the Australian was back aboard his tried and trusted GP19 on Monday at Jerez, albeit with a number of updates.

One of those is a new engine, which was to his liking. He also revealed the plan is to begin testing aboard Ducati’s new machine on Tuesday if the Andalusian weather permits.

“The character [of the new engine] is nice, an improvement on last year,” said Miller. “And this is only the first step. They’ve got more to do over the winter.

“We’re just setting it up differently with all the electronics parametres. That took up a bit of time this morning, but what we understand what we need to set up it’ll be a lot easier coming into grand prix.”

On his day as a whole, Miller continued: “I don’t have it yet seeing as Danilo’s back here so it’s gone back across to the factory garage. I don’t know what the plan is for tomorrow. I think the weather’s going to rubbish anyway.

“The big plan was to test the [new] bike tomorrow. But we’ll just have to wait and see. We’ve got the updated engine and a few other bits and bobs in our bike. It’s as close as it can get to being the newer bike. But we’ll have to wait and see what the weather does tomorrow.

“Whether or not we try that bike, the main goal is for them to have the factory boys’ input and then me after. If we’ve got a chance they’ll send it down but if not we’ll just have to keep doing what we’re doing with our ’19 chassis and the updated parts that we’ve got.

“[I’ve] Just [been] running with the ’20 engine, getting the mapping right and understanding how to set it up. That was our big thing to do this morning. Then for the rest we’re just getting everything else sorted, trying a few different combinations. Here in Jerez is always quite particular set-up wise.

“We ran what we’ve been running the last couple of races geometry wise. That didn’t really work out. After the second run we turned the bike upside down and more towards what we normally run here in Jerez. It feels pretty good.”

On his first impressions of the new bike at Valencia, he said, “It’s always strange when you try a new bike, especially like in Valencia. We did a back-to-back with the bike we were riding all season and we had a great feeling for. Everything feels a bit strange but you try and look at all the positives.

“I think we found all of the positives and understood where we should be. I think the new bike will help for places like here, with these fast, flowing corners. But that’s only speculation at the moment because I haven’t been able to ride it around here yet.

“I think they’ve made headway [with the 2020 bike]. Dovi [Andrea Dovizioso] and those guys seem convinced. We have to wait and see. You never know until you try it in the race.”

 

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