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​MotoGP Qatar II: Miller in control despite near highside

Jack Miller displayed his dominance for the second MotoGP Friday in a row aboard his Desmosedici commanding the overall times with an impressive 1’53.145.

The Ducati rider got off to a less-than-optimal start after spending the majority of Friday towards the base of the standings while a serious moment on his penultimate FP2 hot-lap could have proved disastrous, the Australian saving the day as he controlled his GP21 and continued to circulate at pace.

Reflecting on the incident at the close of play, Miller said “I’m fine, it was nothing really, just one of those things when you’re pushing like that. Better a moment than a crash!


“Everybody keeps asking if I hit myself but I didn’t. Everything was okay, the family jewels are safe and sound.” he joked.

Miller’s final hot-lap was also nearly impeded by another incident, this time a late-session crash by Takaaki Nakagami, with initial doubts over if his P1 time would stand.

The Ducati man explained “as soon as I came out of six, I looked at the sector and as soon as I looked back up I saw the dust, I saw him crash, he was still rolling.

“At that point I thought the lap would be cancelled. I was directly on him so I had no chance to slow down or anything like that, so I pushed. Anyway, at one point I had a ’53.6, which was enough to keep me in the Q2 because I just wasn’t sure. I’ve been excluded like that before so I didn’t want it to happen again.

“I went out and I did what I needed to do, I mean the temperature was nearly double [this afternoon], of what we had this evening but I still went out. I did like three runs of four laps, just working mainly for mapping and stuff like that - we don’t adjust the settings too much for that because it’s pointless, we waited until this evening to change a few things.

“The grip feels a little different to what we had the last Grand Prix but for me I felt like my riding was a little bit more similar to what I was riding like in the test - in terms of brake pressure and stuff like that. I felt like I could use similar brake pressures to what I was using in the test which I wasn’t able to use last week.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s qualifying, the Australian continued “We get a good start with the Ducati so [Qualifying] is not overly important but it’s more of a matter of self pride. I think you want to try and bosh out the biggest lap-time and it’s kind of half the fun of the weekend but we’ll see what we can do tomorrow. For sure we’re gonna try and take the momentum from today into tomorrow and then of course on the Sunday.”

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