Jack Miller was firmly on form in Austria on Friday after the Ducati Lenovo rider sat comfortably at the top of the free practice times.
Topping the morning session as the only rider on 1’30 pace Miller was a full six-tenths clear of his nearest challenger despite the tricky wet/dry conditions after the overnight storms. The Australian backed up his performance with a strong ride to second in the dry afternoon, just 0.024s separating him from Prima Pramac’s Johann Zarco as the leading pair swapped positions in FP2.
“The bike's working well through the chicane, it's a nice addition to the track,” Miller said after a day analysing the new Red Bull Ring layout. “It's completely different, very blind, very strange at the first moment because you don't see where to brake and it's got a lot of, let's say, different cambers but it creates for some fun riding.
“The bike’s moving around a lot, now that we've got the hang of it, moving around a lot going in, but then you are really able to slap the bike from one side to the other to try and take the most out of the chicane.
“I think it's a nice addition, it's definitely a lot safer than how the track was before and I think it will create for some better racing around here.
“I saw many guys using different lines today,” he continued. “You can be a little bit more conservative on the way in and maybe focus more on exit or you can use a little bit more going in and maybe not have the best exit.
"For sure, at the end of the day a chicane is going to be semi one line, there’s a couple of options around it but you're able to use different lines when it comes to racing, like we see in Silverstone, in many places, where you're able to pass and then block the line on the switchback. So yeah, I see only positives from it, definitely! Not only there, I think it's made turn three more able for overtaking. So like I said, I think the racing will be better because of this chicane.
Ducati dominated the top ten after Friday’s two practice sessions, with only Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo interrupting the Bologna factory’s lockout of the top eight, much to Miller’s approval.
“It shows that the bike is good and the riders are fantastic!” He said emphatically. “I mean, the level in MotoGP now is extremely high and you can see the Ducatis are working quite well and the riders are doing a fantastic job.”