Miller ‘delighted’ despite sitting on Q2 bubble
Saturday 29th May, 2021 - 9:14am
Jack Miller is “delighted” with his Friday at Mugello despite sitting just inside the Qualifying 2 cut-off for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
Miller ended the opening day of Round 6 in 10th position on combined times with a 1:46.688s, 0.541s off the pace set by Ducati Lenovo team-mate Francesco Bagnaia.
As it stands, the Australian would earn direct passage to the second phase of qualifying, but fellow Ducati rider Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) and Suzuki’s Joan Mir loom as obvious threats in 11th and 12th respectively.
Miller, however, is unconcerned at where he finds himself, and the prospect of having to piece together a lap in Free Practice 3 which ensures he does not have to go into Qualifying 1 later on Saturday.
The winner of the last two grands prix explained that he was exploring set-ups in the first two practice sessions and suggested he is yet to go for a “real time attack”.
Said Miller, “It’s really nice to finally be back on track at Mugello, a truly fantastic track.
“Today [Friday practice], we focused mainly on understanding how the three different tyres we have for the race work. We valued the characteristic of each option, also finding the modifications that we need to do on the bike’s set-up.
“Tomorrow in the FP3, I will try my real time attack with the soft tyre to secure a spot directly in Q2.
“All in all, I’m delighted with this first day here.”
Currently, Bagnaia’s 1:46.147s has him 0.071s clear of Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins at the top of the timesheet.
Third is Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT), from Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM), Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Gresini), and Miller.
Behind Zarco and Mir sits Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), who is 13th with a personal best 1:46.973s.
FP3 starts tonight at 17:55 AEST, before FP4 at 21:30 and Qualifying 1 from 22:10.