MotoGP

Miller: I tend to shut eyes, hang on pretty good

Jack Miller explains his speed at the Circuit of the Americas when other Ducati riders appear to be struggling; “[I’m] happy to be top Ducati, and keep taking it to those factory boys.”

Jack Miller was satisfied with a fine MotoGP qualifying performance at the Circuit of the Americas, where he kept “taking it to those factory boys”, and placed himself well for another podium charge.

The Australian fought a considerable wind to qualifying his Pramac Ducati GP19 fourth on the grid, despite it “really playing havoc with us” and “f**king bucking me around.”

With tyre wear not an issue for the #43, Miller is considering Michelin’s soft front and rear options for Sunday. “It's going to be a physical race, like I said, you've just got to stay mentally sharp, I feel, and not make too many mistakes.”

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“I just said to the boys in the box, I didn't feel like I was very fast, because in between every corner which had a little straight on, of which there aren't too many in Austin, you can't stay on the edge of the tyre.

“But every straight you have, the thing was all over the place, whether it be on the rivers or on the bumps down the back straight, or even up to the Waterfall (T1), you had to narrowly avoid two wet patches, drop off the waterfall, and then you had a massive side wind down there, and it was trying to wheelie.

“So the thing was just literally like a bucking bronco. So happy to get that one out the way. Was happy to get a dry session in, I think it made it a little bit more fun for everybody, and looking forward to tomorrow's race.

“[I’m] Still unsure about what tyre to go on, but I've got a feeling about the soft-soft, and tire wear really hasn't been an issue here all weekend. We'll have to look today at any new information we've got, and then also again try and have another look at it tomorrow in warm up.

“It was a struggle out there to be honest, with the wind, our bike being so wide and so big like it is, the wind really played a bit of havoc on us. The worst part for me has to be going into turn ten, there was like a spot of water in the drop off.

“There was a spot of water on the inside, a spot of water on the outside, and you kind of had to be very precise and get it through there.

“But there was also a massive side wind, so as I'd roll off, because I'm trying to get it in between those two patches of water, as it put it back on, it would just start wheelying and fuckin' bucking me around.

“That's where I made my mistake. I had my best sector on the last lap there in the first sector, but I just had a massive shake coming down the hill, and then when I went for the brakes they were just a little bit closer than I expected and had to pump them up a little bit.

“It was what it was, happy to be back on the second row. That seems to be our spot so far this year. But hopefully tomorrow, we're generally able to get away with a good start.

“I think it's going to be important here, as we know, the first sector is all one line. Try and stay out of trouble, and see if we can't stick with those front boys for as long as possible.”

Miller’s mood was a good deal better than Andrea Dovizioso, who missed the cut to get into Q2. Why does he feel he’s showing better potential than his factory colleagues?

“I wish I could tell you,” he said. “It's probably the track and riding style, I tend to shut my eyes and hang on pretty good, so I think that's sort of playing into my hands here. It's a shame for Dovi to get punted out of Q1 like that, but I've no doubt he'll be in the race tomorrow.

“And like I said, I feel with the Ducati with that wind, through a few places like 16, 17, 18 it made it really hard to get, it's running wide. So they weren't ideal conditions today, but happy to be top Ducati, and keep taking it to those factory boys.”

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