Australia’s Jack Miller delivered a strong challenge for the top 10 at the end of a close opening day of practice in the MotoGP season finale at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia on Friday.
Jack grew in confidence throughout the first 45-minute session, which took place in chilly conditions of just 14 degrees, despite the 4km Valencia venue being swathed in glorious sunshine.
Miller was able to set a personal best time of 1’32’155 which comfortably placed him inside the top 10 in eighth, as his Team Estrella Galicia crew worked diligently through the process of evaluating four different spec Michelin front tyres.
The sunny conditions continued for FP2, and with track temperature up 15 degrees, the improved grip levels enabled Miller to improve his pace to a 1’31’754, putting him in 14th position on combined standings.
Despite not making it into the top ten by the time it was all said and done, the 21 year old can take great heart from his first day showing in Spain, with his quickest time just over 0.5s away from the top five.
“I was pretty happy with my performance in FP1 this morning and I was able to put in a decent lap time on a new rear tyre,” he said. “Only a handful of us used fresh rubber at the end of the session but this afternoon everybody ran new tyres and the pace got faster.”
“I improved my lap time compared to this morning, so I feel like we made a step. I used the hard tyres for most of the second session to concentrate on set-up for the race and it didn’t feel too bad. We are not too far away from where we want to be and I am sure we can improve tomorrow."