Jack Miller puts in 4 x 1m29s and looks good
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller made a heroic return to MotoGP action today, with the Australian treating a windswept home crowd to two outstanding performances in practice at Phillip Island.
Back in action just three weeks after breaking his right leg in a training accident, Miller’s reward for going through an intensive rehabilitation was an electrifying start to his crucial home race.
A faultless lap of 1’29.724 placed Miller in a terrific third place in FP1 this morning, which was only 0.122s behind the best time set by current World Championship leader Marc Marquez.
Boosted by his confident ride this morning, and with no severe pain or lack of movement restricting him on his Honda RC213V machine, Miller capitalised on his strong start with an equally impressive ride in demanding conditions for this afternoon’s second 45-minute session.
Although ambient temperature for FP2 was slightly cooler than this morning, track temperature on the jaw-dropping 4.4km circuit was marginally warmer. Aware that cooler conditions and potentially wet conditions predicted for FP3 might prevent lap times being improved tomorrow when crucial places are at stake for Q2, Miller left nothing to chance and he fired in a lap of 1’29.466 to secure a richly deserved top six.
Jack Miller: 6th – 1’29.466
“In terms of my physical condition I don’t feel too bad on the bike once the adrenaline kicks in. As you can imagine I’m still missing a bit of strength because at this track there are so many high-speed corners that it can be hard work to change direction. I don’t feel as quick in that area as normal but I’ve had good speed all day and been happy with my pace. Third this morning was a great early boost and I knew it was important to be fast again this afternoon because we don’t know if the lap times can be better in FP3, so one big goal today was to get into the top 10. I love this track and I love the atmosphere and it’s great to see so many fans coming out to support me.”
Ramon Aurin: Jack Miller Chief Engineer
“We have to be very happy with Jack’s performance today. We were a little bit worried before we started this morning wondering how Jack’s leg would be on such a demanding circuit like Phillip Island. But right from the start in FP1 he felt good and we achieved our main mission to get into the top 10. It looks like tomorrow could be unpredictable with the weather, so it was very important to make sure we could try and get into Q2 this afternoon. Jack was strong on the medium rear tyre this morning and that’s a good sign for the race. He also made a good step with the soft rear tyre but it looks like the predicted rain will make it very difficult to set a faster lap time tomorrow, so we have to be very satisfied with how we approached the job today.”