MotoGP Assen: Miller ‘confident’ despite another long lap penalty

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Ducati Lenovo’s Jack Miller is set for another long lap penalty after a crash and Viñales near-miss in Saturday’s Assen qualifying.

Miller will line up on the second row, in sixth, for the second time in a row after setting a 1’32.124 lap around the TT Circuit on Saturday afternoon. His teammate on pole, Miller was confident of his potential as he set the pace for the second row with his third lap despite running wide and almost crashing in the opening stages.

His second run was equally dramatic as he crashed at turn five before being able to capitalise on the new soft Michelin. Returning to the track he was caught running slowly in the path of a hot-lapped Maverick Viñales, disrupting the Aprilia’s shot at improving from his P11 position, with the Stewards issuing a long lap for Sunday’s 26-lap race.

“It wasn’t an easy qualifying session, but I’m still happy with the result,” Miller said from Assen.

“During my first outing on the soft tyre, I almost crashed and ended up wide, losing a lot of time. Unfortunately, even with the second tyre, I couldn’t complete the lap because I crashed.

“I started my bike and of course pushing it along, I had to jump on it side saddle. I immediately pulled over to the left as far as I could to try and get out of the racing line. By the time I got over, I got on the bike, I sort of looked behind and I saw Maverick coming and he rolled out of it.

“I couldn’t do much more, the speed difference was the big issue. I mean, I was doing everything I could to try and get out of the way but yeah, it is what it is.

“Anyway, I am satisfied because our bike is working well, which is the most important thing. I am optimistic for tomorrow’s race. We were competitive in FP4 on used tyres, and I felt comfortable - I am impressed by how our bike has improved since the beginning of the year.

“Tomorrow we’ll have to take another long lap, but I’m confident we can do well anyway.”