HIS qualifying position doesn’t show it, but Jack Miller made a setup breakthrough in the final practice session for the Grand Prix of the Americas.
Miller will start the race on Monday morning AEST from 18th place on the grid. It’s a sharp drop from pole position at his last start in Argentina, but his seventh fastest time in the previous practice showed that he has the pace to fight for a top 10 spot.
Not that he could prove that pace in qualifying.
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He crashed his # 1 bike, the one with the setup change, at the end of practice, and his crew didn’t have enough time to carry over the changes to his spare time in time for Miller to fight his way out of Q1.
“We took a step in bike geometry in FP4,” said Miller.
“I was really happy, improved my time on used tires and was able to improve significantly and consistently. I was really happy with that.
“I came in, went out again, the tire pressure was too high, but I had a really good feeling with the bike.
“I might have brought a little more speed through the (turns) 16-17-18, and then when I was 19 I was a little quick.
“I tried to get into the corner, but the front didn’t hold me.
“I’m really happy with what we found in FP4. The problem was that when I crashed the bike, we couldn’t change the geometry of the other bike, so I had to do qualifying on the old bike. “
Miller was uninjured, but his short runs gave him cause for optimism for race day.
“The race pace in FP4 really surprised me, to be honest, I was pretty quick,” he added.
“To start so far back, I mean, it sucks, but we have to stay positive and give 100 percent.
“I know we have something in our pockets, we just have to wait and see what we can do with it in the race.”
Jack Miller. Image: MotoGPSource: Supplied
MILLER INJURED IN AUSTIN
Miller also announced he was carrying an injury over the race weekend that he sustained in downtime since the Argentina Grand Prix.
“I had a minor off-track incident a week ago and I hurt my shoulder a little,” said Miller.
“It doesn’t bother me too much and it gets better every day, but of course this is not the easiest track with all the changes in direction.
“But not to be used as an excuse in any way.
“I feel like we have good pace for the race and we just have to try to get a decent start and try to go with the guys and see what we can do.”
The race starts at 5 a.m. AEST.