Pramac Racing contender charges to P4 in Argentina.
Piloting the Ducati Desmosedici GP19 in the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, Australian Jack Miller believes the current-spec machine has offered a big step in boosting his competitiveness fresh after earning a fourth place finish at Argentina’s second round on Sunday.
Miller performed strongly in pre-season testing and even at Qatar’s season-opener before a seat malfunction cruelly forced him into an early retirement, however the Pramac Racing ace was able to display is form at the Termas de Rio Hondo, finishing just off the box.
“I’m really enjoying riding this GP19 Ducati,” Miller stated in his Red Bull column. “I never raced the ’18 last year, and this bike is a big step. I said to someone that I feel like I’m bringing a gun to a gun fight now, and that’s the best way of explaining it.
“The speed is easier to come by and you don’t feel you’re riding it right on the ragged edge every corner just to get a lap time out. That’s why Qatar was frustrating – with the way ‘Dovi’ rode that race and controlled the pace, I reckon I could have stayed with the front group and been in a position to do something in the last few laps.
“In the first few laps on this bike is when I notice it, you’re not constantly over-braking and cooking the front tyre just to stay with those guys, and not trying to make up for not being able to stay with them on the straights. I can manage the tyres better because the speed of the bike is there, that’s probably the biggest factor.”
The Queenslander his confident his increased track time during practice and qualifying sessions has resulted in strong race pace, with the number 43 adamant a podium is just around the corner.
“We’ve been working really hard as a team and the bike is good,” he added. “And we’ve been doing the most laps of anyone in practice and spending a lot of time working on our race pace, and today it paid off for us.
“To have it go to plan is nice, and you want to get the monkey off your back and get off zero points, there’s nothing worse than leaving the first race with 0 next to your name. To get so close to the podium – I was only 1.6 seconds behind ‘Dovi’ – is a bit frustrating in some ways, but we’re right there. It’s just a matter of time if we keep working the way we are, I think.”
Sunday’s race was ultimately won by reigning world champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), who now leads the series standings. MotoGP heads to Circuit of the Americas next on 14 April.