Jack Miller looks to the sky ahead of a busy Saturday at Phillip Island, with pole position for the Australian Grand Prix.
Miller enjoyed a solid first day of practice at his home race, finishing the dry FP2 session in fifth place after finishing top 3 in a rain-stricken FP1 that morning.
Pramac Racing chose Miller to use all three rear tire compounds as he wanted to allay fears of further fading in the late race following his Motegi dramas in which he dropped from third to tenth place.
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Many expect Miller to fight for the podium – having been on the podium three times this season – should he get his tires under control in the race, but the weather remains a big talking point after Friday was a mix of rain, Sunshine and cloud cover and wind.
However, with the pace in wet and dry conditions, Miller was happy with his speed on home turf and tried to take his chances after leading the race last year before slacking off again.
“Hopefully it pisses down in the morning and then it’s nice and dry for qualifying so that I don’t have to worry about a qualifying run in FP3,” said Miller on Friday.
“In the past few years we have been able to lead most of the race and fight with the front guys, but this year it feels like we can take them over the entire race distance. I hope it will be like this on Sunday. “
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Miller wanted to “soften” the bike as riders had a chance on Friday to test the settings in both wet and dry conditions, given the volatile forecast for the weekend.
Trying to try all three tire compounds proved crucial for Miller as he is looking for the sweet spot with the GP19.
The Michelin tire test after FP2 gave Miller – among other things – the opportunity to record more track time and actually more data.
After being successful in Moto3 at Phillip Island five years ago, Miller would like to extend his best placings from seventh in 2017 and 2018 in front of his home fans.
“I managed to try all three compounds on the rear tire and put in a second soft to make sure we are in the top 10 tomorrow as it looks like the FP3 might be a little wet,” he said.
“Besides, I feel good. We have a couple of different settings here and there.
“I was able to swap the bike a little in the Michelin test, so we got out a little late because we had to swap something in the pivot to gain some stability. So it was good. “