For the fourth time since Aragon, Ducati rider Jack Miller will start a MotoGP race from second after narrowly losing pole to team-mate Francesco Bagnaia

While gaps in previous Q2 sessions have sometimes been between three-four tenths, today’s margin was much closer as Miller sat on provisional pole following the first run.

And although Bagnaia set three laps good enough for pole during his final Q2 run, the margin at the end of Q2 was just over a tenth. 

"Much like it was in Misano I’ve had a great weekend, a great Friday, a great Saturday, so fingers crossed we can turn it into a great Sunday," said Miller after qualifying. 

"Like Pecco [Bagnaia] (said he won’t use the hard tyre tomorrow) I too will not be using the hard front. I think we have our tyres pretty well planned out. 

"The engineers will be looking at it more. But in general the feeling is really good. I was struggling a bit until FP4 in the last sector, but Pecco and my new riding coach (Casey Stoner) gave me some tips and I was able to actually find some decent lines through there. 

"Massive thank you to him and I feel good in terms of the pace. I’m having fun here in Portugal and with these last couple of races as the pressure is all off, all that sort of stuff is gone so we can just ride motorbikes now which is heaps of fun."

Ducati’s overall package in 2021 - seen by many as the best bike on the grid, has done a lot to lessen its weak points in 2021.

And while high winds are still a problem for the GP-21, the bike’s overall evolution along with ‘great’ base has been a big reason for the steps forward according to the Australian.

Miller added: "On paper you wouldn’t chalk this down as a fantastic Ducati track, but that’s talking more about the old Ducati I think. 

"The GP-20 and GP-21 work really well here, but it’s the evolution of this year’s bike and the way the bike behaves that’s the main difference. 

"Don’t get me wrong, today with the wind it was not fantastic which is still one of our weaker points still, but we’re still able to find a way around it and I think the package of the bike itself is a great base."