MotoGP Catalunya Test: ‘One day too late’ for Miller

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Picture: GeeBee Images

It was a case of ‘what a difference a day makes’ for Ducati Lenovo’s Jack Miller on Monday as he completed the MotoGP Catalan test sixth overall.

Having struggled throughout the race weekend, with a solitary point to his name come Sunday, Miller was just three-tenths of a second away from Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo at the top of the timesheets on Monday night. The frustrated Australian completing 68 laps of the Barcelona-Catalunya track as he worked through the multiple items on offer.

“Yeah, very annoying. One day too late,” Miller said of his top six performance on Monday. “I mean, of course the track conditions are different today, a lot more rubber on the track. Still was really hot but pace was there.

“We moved the bike around quite a bit. Had some decent new items to try and it was a good day but yeah, I mean compared to my pace yesterday it’s always gonna tick you off!

“Today’s different, like I said, a lot of rubber on the ground and whatnot so we just tried not to get too involved in exactly if it’s better or worse. Just try and understand because our basic package is working really well. I had a fairing to try and a couple of little devices but nothing major. We moved the bike around a bit, found a little bit more, got ourselves a little more comfy and happy with the results of today.”

The new fairing certainly seemed to get the seal of approval across the Ducati riders, although the 27-year-old was unsure when or if it would be put to use.

“Easier to get tucked in on the new fairing,” Miller confirmed. “I still notice it on the current fairing, you know, I catch a lot of wind - it’s fantastic for turning but maybe not the best on straight line speed. So the new one definitely helped for that but yeah, was not the best on turning which is the direction we went with the new fairing. So we’ll see if we see that one again or not. Has its positives and negatives we need to weight them up and go from there.”

The positive vibes were a stark difference to the frustrations of Sunday, with Miller having struggled from the outset of the Catalan GP.

“From the beginning to the end I suffer a lot with grip,” he said of his Barcelona weekend. “I put the hard tyre to try and be strong at the end.

“To be honest from the beginning I had nothing on the right hand side all the way through. Guys passing me on the inside, guys passing me on the outside. I tried to keep calm but yeah, at the end, we had some big chunks out of the rear tyre. Cannot drive in a straight line let alone on the edge or with banking so very, very, very strange and very disappointing day for us.

“Honestly, all weekend felt like I had two good tyres, the rest were not working and we need to understand why that is because I didn’t forget how to ride a motorcycle overnight. Very disappointing day but what can you do, this is racing!”