Home Sports MotoGP 2022 News, Jack Miller, Ducati, Phillip Island, Australian Grand Prix

MotoGP 2022 News, Jack Miller, Ducati, Phillip Island, Australian Grand Prix


Jack Miller says the still-recovering Marc Marquez is the driver he fears most as he bids for victory at his home Australian Grand Prix.

After a tense qualifying session, Miller would take eighth place behind second-placed Marquez, who was just 0.013s ahead of Jorge Martin on pole.

Marquez was quick to downplay his expectations for the race as he continues to rehabilitate from surgery on a broken arm. Phillip Island is just his fourth weekend back in action after four months on the sidelines.

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But Miller, who stood on the podium in the last race here of 2019, said the Spaniard’s three wins and seven appearances in Victoria would make the difference over 27 laps this afternoon.

“I think the biggest threat for tomorrow or the biggest opponent for tomorrow would definitely have to be Mark,” Miller said. “He has a lot of experience of winning here.

“He seems to be in good shape so I think that’s who I look up to probably the most.”

Miller also named 2018 Australian Grand Prix winner Maverick Viñales as a dark horse, despite the Spaniard finishing 12th after sacrificing his final qualifying run to allow team-mate Alejandro Espargaro to move up to fourth place

“I think he’s quietly crawling in there,” Miller said. “He will be strong tomorrow in the race and this Aprilia is generally quite good on its tyres.”

Miller endured an up-and-down home weekend, looking to struggle towards the end of Friday, only to turn things around in FP3 on Saturday morning before reclaiming a warm eighth on the grid.

It was his worst qualifying performance since he was knocked out in Q1 at the Catalan Grand Prix in June.

But the Townsville native was not fazed by these statistics. His last two races – a win in Japan and a second place in Thailand – both came from seventh on the grid and were among the best of his career, giving him hope that he will still be on course for a strong home showing with several settings before installing it.

“I’m always disappointed to finish eighth at your home Grand Prix, but it seems to have been the case the last couple of weeks – we’ve been on that third row, so I’m back again,” he said. . “But I feel relatively well [today’s] race

“Still, we’re 0.3 seconds back and in eighth place, so I’m sure there will be a tight group tomorrow come race time.

“There is a small part that I still want to improve on the bike, just to try to work out the balance a little bit better. I lacked a little bit of confidence in Turn 2, Turn 6, Turn 12. If we can try to just carry a little bit more speed into the turns through them, then we should be right.

“These places are corners with no brakes – you’re really trying to accelerate the bike. It’s just kind of understeer all the way around.

“It’s just about getting the balance right. Yesterday we really pushed to make the bike more reliable and I think we improved in that area, but maybe we need to raise the front end a bit.

“I think we need to take a half step back, just try to balance it out and get some normalcy.”

Finding a good balance will be crucial to his chances of victory in what is predicted to be a strategic tire management affair at the ultra-fast and demanding Phillip Island circuit.

Choosing the right tire and waiting time will be key to what should be a well-judged win on the Isle – as Miller knows all too well from his early 2017 race hellshot lead that led to a stunning seventh place finish with a rubber blow. .

“I was in the lead for the first seven or eight laps of this Grand Prix [in 2017] like a jerk — got out of the car like a complete idiot and burned my tires,” he said.

“I can tell you it was the longest 10 laps of my life at the end of a race when you do that.”

But Miller also sees opportunity in this bittersweet memory.

On the grid in front of him are three riders who have not completed a single MotoGP lap around Phillip Island, and several other riders have said they will try to run contrasting tire strategies in an attempt to find an advantage over their rivals.

Miller, in his fifth MotoGP appearance in the premier class, believes it could work to his advantage.

“There are a lot of young guys out there who haven’t raced here, so I think we should be able to use the experience we got from racing here and tire-wise because we’re using a different compound. that’s what we drove at the last grand prix all season,” he said.

“I think we know what we have to do for tomorrow and that’s it.

“I think if we can manage our tires well, there are a lot of unknowns. We have never raced with a rear tire. I did 19 laps on the hard [in practice]. It wasn’t bad, but I’ll be interested to see what 27 has in store for us tomorrow.”

And he said he hoped he could use the home crowd advantage for an extra boost.

“The more fingers crossed, the better!” he said. “I feel extra pressure, but it’s good pressure. I love it.

“It’s amazing to be a part of it and to have that feeling, coming back to the Island after so many years and coming back to this reception.

“There are so many bloody fans. How nice to see full stands.

“It’s amazing to see the support we get here.”

“It was amazing.”


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