Miller: Rear brake risky on slippery, scary track

Jack Miller says super-slippery Barcelona track 'scary in some points' due to risk of highsides on corner entry, cannot use normal rear-braking technique.
Miller: Rear brake risky on slippery, scary track

Jack Miller is aiming to repeat the kind of comeback rides delivered by Alex Rins this season, after being left 14th on the grid for Sunday's Catalunya MotoGP.

The Pramac Ducati rider narrowly missed out on direct access to Qualifying 2 after running wide on his best lap in Saturday morning practice, then saw his Qualifying 1 effort 'disrupted' by a fall.

"It disrupted me for sure because we were quite short on tyres. I had to use the medium in the end instead of the soft," Miller said. "I went out there and pushed to my maximum on the second bike.

"We did three laps in low '40s but just couldn't seem to get any quicker. I just kept having a moment here or there. To try to put everything together was really difficult.

"Rins has come back from some decent gaps in the past couple of races so now it's our turn… I think it'll be a slow race, because everybody will have to save and manage their tyres."

Ducati riders have won at Barcelona for the past two seasons but were absent from the top five in qualifying.

The biggest change since last year is that the asphalt - new for last season - now feels much more slippery, which is causing problems for riders such as Miller that rely heavily on the rear brake to help turn the bike.

"I think definitely the track has changed compared to last year. There's a lot less grip," said the Australian. "The track is super slippery. Scary in some points to be honest.

"Because, like you saw with Marc and Frankie this morning, we're having highsides on entry to the corner, which is not normal.

"And all it is, is rear brake. You touch a bit of rear brake with some lean angle and all of a sudden you are losing the rear. So it's not really normal, especially when you are trying to get the bike to turn.

"At the start of the first session yesterday, I had my first moment in the corner where Frankie highsided today, then I had two more moments braking in for turn one.

"I honestly thought I had oil on the tyre or something, but worked it out that every time it was happening was when I was trying to settle the rear of the bike.

"My style is that when I start tipping in to the apex I use more of the rear brake to settle the bike. I'm not able to ride it like that here because there is absolutely zero edge-grip on the rear coming into the corners. So I start having these highside moments. It's 'un-useful' let's say."

While the lack of grip is "everywhere... I rode here two and a half weeks ago with the standard Panigale and the track even looked different then and from the lap times for Moto2 and Moto3 in the Spanish championship you can see the track was faster last week. We had rain earlier on this week, I don’t know if that's caused it.

"If you go off line it's dusty, but the racing line is pretty clean now, but not much grip at all."