Jack Miller unimpressed by Ducati’s bleak appearance on Phillip Island in 2017

JACK Miller is confident that he can banish Ducati’s bad memories of their shocking performance in Australian MotoGP last year – even though he will ride last year’s bike.

Twelve months ago, the Ducati factory team arrived at Phillip Island with leading hope Andrea Dovizioso in the middle of the battle for the title, just 11 points behind Marc Marquez and the culmination of a breathtaking win on the last lap in Japan a week earlier.

What followed was honestly a horror show.

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Neither Ducati qualified or finished in the top 10, with Dovizioso surviving the added shame of being beaten in 11th place by Scott Redding’s year-old machine while title rival Marquez won the race.

In contrast, Miller enjoyed his best home race to date in MotoGP aboard a Honda, taking the lead on the opening laps before finishing seventh.

Miller replaced Redding on the Ducati-focused Pramac team for 2018 and drove the team’s one-year machine.

He is not impressed by the unremarkable performance on his Phillip Island last year.

“If you look at the layout of the track, you definitely have to be brave here to drive fast!” He said.

“I think if you have the flow here – it’s a track where every corner blends into each other – and when you are feeling good and feeling happy, it can really motivate you and help you get the right feel for the race .

“If you’re feeling good and it’s working, you can make any bike work here.

“Like Eugene (Laverty) on the Suzuki Superbike when he won here and got nowhere else; Casey could be having the worst year and still come here and clean up.

“I think it’s just a good place to be when you feel good and understand your bike.”

In retrospect, Miller said he had opted for a different tire with Motegi.Source: Supplied

Miller qualified in the front row on his 2017 motorcycle at the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend, but crashed in the early laps after opting for a soft rear tire.

“(I would) put a different tire on the grid, definitely. I would have started a medium, ”he said afterwards.

“It was a risk, but it didn’t pay off for us. After the third lap it started to overheat, it got too hot at the edge and I lacked some stability at the entrance to the corner.

“I would definitely change that – but that’s why we’re here this year. We’re here to try things.

“If it had gone the other way around and we had had an unreal grip for the whole race, who knows what would have happened.”