Aussie Moto rider Jack Miller was satisfied with his progress and pace on the opening day of practice for the Termas de Rio Hondo MotoGP clash in Argentina overnight.
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider was quick out of the blocks in windy conditions in session one to lap within 0.3s of the top three in ninth, with the usually slippery 4.8km Termas de Rio Hondo circuit offering better grip and feedback than expected.
This effort was the perfect way for Miller to capitalise on his brilliant ride to eighth place in the season’s opening race in Qatar last month, and he was confident he could battle to retain his place inside the top 10 this afternoon.
Mindful that FP3 may be run on a wet surface with rain predicted, Miller went into soft tyre time attack mode in the final stages of today’s second session, to try and claim an all-important top 10 placing that could potentially put him straight into Q2 tomorrow if rain disrupts proceedings.
But he did not get the expected increase in performance and grip from a brand new Michelin soft rear tyre and he finished 17th overall, but only 1.1s off top spot in an incredibly closely fought session.
“I was pretty satisfied with my pace this morning and I was very optimistic that I could keep my place inside the top 10 this afternoon,” the Aussie rider explained. “But when we stuck in a soft tyre at the end of this afternoon’s session it just didn’t give me the grip I anticipated.”
“Sometimes that scenario can happen and unfortunately this time it was me on the wrong end of it. That was a shame but the positive is that I have a good feeling with the bike, even though the track is slippery. I’ve now got to hope the weather doesn’t turn bad for FP3 because I need it dry to try and force my way back into the top 10. I can’t control that but whatever happens I will be giving it 100%.”