Ducati didn't set the world alight in terms of race pace at the opening Sepang MotoGP test.

Pramac's Jack Miller - fifth, second and eighth respectively over the three days – admitted they need to 'gain some more life' out of the new Michelin rear tyre to match the consistency shown by 'some of Yamahas and what not'.

But the Australian already feels comfortable on the latest GP20 and 'if we keep working like we have been over the last 16 months, I think we should be on for a good year'.

"Pretty good I think, we've been fast on all three days," was how Miller summed up the Malaysian test.

"Step-by-step we're becoming more and more comfortable with the bike. The bike itself is working really well. Consistent, powerful… I'm able to put it more-or-less where I like, after we've played around with the balance and geometry.

"So I think we just need to keep working in this direction for the Qatar test and gain some more life out of the tyres.

"I saw some of the boys today had some decent pace. The outright lap time is one thing, but to see the consistent pace of some of the Yamahas and what not - they've been pretty consistent all weekend.

"In general, the bike itself is pretty good at the minute," he added. "We need to take it to another track to really find out what we need to improve. I think Qatar will be something different, we get the sand on the track and stuff like, so it'll be interesting to see what we can do there with a little less grip."

Much talk at the test was on whether the new Michelin tyre had given a boost to the smoother, corner-speed machines from Yamaha and Suzukis relative to the V4s. Miller didn't think it favours any particular brand and just comes down to how well each rider and team can exploit the added grip.

"I think if you can learn how to ride and set the bike up for it, it's a good tyre. It's just a balance thing and whether you can take the big positive gain, which I feel is drive grip, out of this tyre," he explained.

"But every manufacturer and every rider I've spoken to has said it's helped them considerably. Clearly everyone likes it. It's all well and good to see it in testing, but we'll have to wait and see once we start racing. See who it really benefits the most."

Miller's main strategy at this stage is to continue the work ethic that brought his best MotoGP season to date, with five podiums and eighth overall, in last year's world championship.

"If we keep working in the correct way, like we have been over the last 16 months, yeah I think we should be on for a good year. We just have to keep taking it as it comes," he said.

"Again do more work in Qatar's test because we're going to have to find a little bit more.

"But I think it is a good year for us. We'll just have to keep our feet on the ground and keep working towards the main goal."

Miller was the fastest Ducati on two out of the three days at Sepang, before team-mate Francesco Bagnaia clocked fourth place on the final day.

With Ducati's chances of snaring a big name rider from another manufacturer for 2021 diminishing, next year's factory team seats could increasingly become a battle between the four GP20 riders (Miller and Bagnaia at Pramac, plus current seat holders Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci).

 

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