Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller said he is feeling “pretty positive” after he recorded a series of impressive lap times at MotoGP™ testing in Sepang.
The Townsville product was the fastest Ducati rider on two of the three days in Malaysia and topped the timesheets for much of day two before finishing second quickest to Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo.
Miller said that while there are things to work on, the early signs from the Ducati Desmosedici GP20 are very encouraging.
“A good few days and a hot few days,” Miller said in a Q&A on his official website.
“The new bike – it’s a little bit better in every aspect. Acceleration, turning, the electronics, the consistency … many different things.
“I can’t see too many negatives with the bike, nearly all positives. And there’s still more to be found which makes me pretty positive.
“We need to sit with the computers and see what they’re telling us.”
Miller added that there is “still plenty for us to work on and improve” and that the team had a “few things electronics-wise and with the engine character that we’ll chip away at”.
He also said that the Sepang hit-out was valuable from a physical perspective.
“Sepang isn’t an easy place to get back to work. Malaysia – you always go away from this one hurting and that’s normal,” he said.
“Putting your knees out, your groins … all sore because we’ve not used them like this for a few months.
“Mentally, it always takes a few laps for the eyes and brain to recalibrate and get used to the speed again, and everything coming at you so fast.
“It’s the same for all of us, doesn’t matter how you long you’ve been doing it … being fit and being race-fit are two different things, that’s for sure.”
Miller finished eighth in last year’s rider standings after five podium finishes, including a very popular third at the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2019.
That was part of a strong end to the season; Miller finished third in three of the last six races in 2019.
And he said that form has seen him re-evaluate his goals ahead of the new season.
“The goalposts have shifted for me, definitely,” he said.
“Five podiums was awesome and that makes you re-assess what you might be able to do this time.
“Towards the end of last year, I was closer and closer to being able to challenge for the other two positions, as in second and first.
“I got closer the longer the season went, and I got to rub shoulders with Marc [Marquez] a few times. That’s definitely where I want to be more this season.
“It’s all learning for me and I gained quite a bit from that.”
The 2020 MotoGP™ season begins in Qatar in March.