MotoGP Aragon: Miller surprised by lap, ‘threw everything at it’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Four MotoGP front row starts in succession, Jack Miller was denied a second pole position by his Ducati Lenovo teammate at Aragon on Saturday.

Just 0.09s split Miller from Pecco Bagnaia at Motorland after the Australian bettered his previous best by almost a second with his late-session 1’46.159 lap, having led a Ducati lockout of the top five in the morning’s FP3.

“Yeah, I’m pretty happy with how Saturday went,” Miller said on Saturday afternoon. “I wasn’t particularly happy yesterday avo, I was struggling a little bit but we sort of analysed what we needed to work on and made some adjustments overnight and immediately this morning I felt more comfortable with the bike. I was able to improve immediately in FP3 and then yeah, did the lap time.

“I threw everything I had at it. I thought it’d be enough to be honest.

“I went over and I saw second soon as I looked at the screen so I thought ‘haha’ I don’t know what the lap time had been because I kind of surprised myself when I went through sector three. I think it said I was under by six-tenths on my best lap time. I was pretty surprised with that but no, the boys were all pushing. I mean, even on the first tyre, the times had dropped immediately from what we had in the morning. I feel good, feel like I’m ready, so we’ll just wait to see what tomorrow brings.”

Miller was joined by his current teammate Bagnaia, and the rider who will replace him in the factory Ducati team for 2023, Enea Bastianini, for the third race weekend in a row. The might of the Desmosedicis on show once again with four of the top five claimed by the Bologna manufacturer.

“I think it’s just sort of coming to us all as the season’s progressed,” he said of the ongoing domination. “I think we’re all getting pretty comfy. Enea’s on last year’s bike and he’s been here as much as I’ve been here so I think it has to do with that.

“The bike is working well, the riders are riding incredibly well. I think it’s a combination of it all but for sure, there’s no doubt the bike’s working fantastic.

“I mean, to have these guys on the front row with me the last three times in a row, and in completely different circuits - Misano a lot of grip, here’s maybe not as grippy - I think it shows just how good the bike is.”

While his recent qualifying record has been on song, race day proved a different story last time out, so what’s the plan for Sunday’s 23-lap battle?

“Try to get past lap two that’s for a start!” Miller joked. “No, I worked on my pace in FP4, felt pretty comfortable with it. I did like a 17-lap run, some of the other boys’ pace was maybe a little bit better, but I generally am able to find something a little bit more come Sunday.

“Riding around out there by myself, circulating and then going racing and knowing what’s on the line, I mean you always find a little bit something extra so I think we’re in good shape for tomorrow but we’ll have to wait and see.”