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23 days ago
By motogp.com

Miller leads Ducati march in Valencia on Friday

P4 spelt a good day at the office for the Australian

Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) ended Friday at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana as the top Ducati rider, over three tenths clear of the next best Desmosedici.

Miller dispels Ducati seat swap rumours

Despite a tumble at the end of FP2, Miller was able to stick in a time good enough for P4 at the end of the opening day of action at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. And with the next fastest GP19 being Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in P9, Miller’s showing was made even more impressive on a circuit that doesn’t typically suit the characteristics of the Ducati.

“The crash, you know, was just one of those things… I quickly wanted to try the hard rear, I had 15 laps on the front… We knew it was going to be risky with the new rear and the 15-lap front, but I gave it a go, and yeah. Turn 2, I tried to save it the best I could, but proved I’m not Marc Marquez! A good first day, feeling on the bike was good, it’s all positives at the minute. We’ve got a little bit of work we can do, but for the moment I’m very happy,” explained Miller.

Race pace is something the Australian and his Pramac crew have been aiming to improve on in recent weeks. Miller revealed that will continue to be the plan in Saturday’s FP3 session ahead of qualifying, as long as the heavens don’t open.

MotoGP™ FP2 in Valencia: Who will top Day 1?

“Just working on race pace, trying to understand,” said Miller, answering what the plan is on Saturday. “Hopefully we have some decent weather and we’re able to try the hard tyre for a decent run tomorrow, rather than one lap and a crash. In general, just keep doing more or what we’ve been doing, more and more laps, and get a feeling for the race.”

As well as discussing the on track action, Miller addressed the rumour that Ducati are planning on swapping him and factory rider Danilo Petrucci for 2020. 

“No, not at all. There have been rumours around for the last weeks, but I haven’t heard anything about them yet.” Fairly conclusive, it seems.

Back on the asphalt, Miller hasn’t tasted podium success at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo since his victory in 2014, the year he narrowly lost out on the Moto3™ title to Alex Marquez. If Friday is anything to go by, that definitely has a chance of changing in 2019.

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