We Zoom in for a chat with Jack Miller after day one at Mandalika

MotoGP Mandalika Test Day One with Jack Miller

The track was not too bad, first two or three laps, pretty early, but when turn two started drying it turned to mud, felt like goo on the track. You would go In there and both tyres basically sliding out from underneath you every lap. I even saw Martin at one point, looking down at his tyres, as it felt like something was seriously wrong. It was just as the track was drying out, it just felt as though it was turning into slop, basically, rather than turning into dust and blowing away. 

“Once the track dried off, the only logical thing to do, was what I did, was to try and get out there, knowing we would struggle for a bit, cleaning the track, but it was only going to get better and better. And of course that was what the guys from Dorna were trying to push for us to do, get out there and get amongst it for the benefit of everybody, because if it doesn’t happen today it is going to happen tomorrow, and you are just postponing it. I think the track was not in too bad a condition at the end of the day, already.  We will see tomorrow, but hopefully the rain doesn’t wash the dust back onto the good line, but I am not too stressed about that, I think with the rubber that is now on the track, should be okay. 

“But yeah, it was a good day. 

“Playing around with everything pretty much, geometry ,everything, quite different to Malaysia, but the electronics still the main focus. I felt as though we made a big step with that today, we got to understand quite a bit.  It was kind of good today, with all the conditions we had, I feel we might get also in Qatar, we had the dust, we will get the dust in Qatar.  This afternoon, before the rain started coming, there was a lot of wind, really big wind, and there are three right-hand corners in a row, and we were able to work and try and make the bike more stable, so it was like it is in Qatar we suffer a lot with the wind there, but we felt good and as though we made a step there. So a really good day for us. 

“To a degree having the tricky conditions, while it made life difficult, we could work with engine brake character and the torque curve, so we played around with that so we could try and play around with that, and try to keep the bike stable at both wheels, so, like I said, it was a good day, we could try different sort of elements. 

“Of course it is great to test in magnificent conditions, perfect sunshine every day etc. on a fantastic track and break lap records, but I think it is kind of good to go and test on places like this, that are virgin and it ends up being more realistic and more like a race weekend. 

“The track is a little bit like Argentina, in some places, it is got its own character, a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it a lot. Got a bit of everything, is tight and technical, has slow sections, then those ridiculously fast sections with the three rights in a row, the whole section through there around 5-6-7 is unreal. Really excited to come back here and race, I think it will make for some really great racing.  The only reason I say about it being a bit like Argentina, we suffer with the dust, because like here they don’t get used very often, that’s the only issue, but it is because of that last corner where you brake in on the angle, and going to be hard not to leave the door open, for everybody, again like the second last corner in Argentina.

“The track is getting bigger and bigger, what I mean by that is the lines will get wider as the track gets better and better, and we can start to use the kerbs, they were an absolute no-go this morning, but it is getting faster and faster and cooler and cooler.  It is awesome to see some awesome fourth and fifth gear corners, but there is a crazy amount of run-off area so the thing is safe as houses. 

“You can’t really see it on TV, how blind actually seven is, but you are sending it in to the unknown every time, you don’t know where you are going to end up as you go over to eight. It’s a whole heap of fun. 

“First tyre today I used the Medium, just because… it wore pretty bad, like I did 30 laps on it, but yeah the state of it was not great, there was no grip at the beginning, but then it was spinning down the straight.  Then I did 30 laps on the Soft and it was working well, the temperature wasn’t too bad, it felt like Malaysia was hotter, but here it may be hotter but it is less humid and we get a nice sea breeze so it is not too bad. 

“The character of this track definitely builds a huge amount of heat in the rear tyre, particularly the right hand side. That last sector, really get into and asking a lot of the rear tyre, pretty much everywhere here it cops a hiding on the right hand side so I think they are doing pretty well for the conditions and whatnot we had here today.

MotoGP Mandalika Test Times
Day One

  1. Pol Espargaro – Honda 1m32.466
  2. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia 1m32.937
  3. Brad Binder – KTM 1m32.943
  4. Alex Rins – Suzuki 1m33.058
  5. Fabio Quartararo – Yamaha 1m33.108
  6. Jack Miller – Ducati 1m33.114
  7. Maverick Vinales – Aprilia 1m33.147
  8. Joan Mir – Suzuki 1m33.244
  9. Andrea Dovizioso – Yamaha 1m33.245
  10. Jorge Martin – Ducati 1m33.358
  11. Takaaki Nakagami – Honda 1m33.394
  12. Franco Morbidelli – Yamaha 1m33.518
  13. Johann Zarco – Ducati 1m33.592
  14. Fabio Di Giannantonio – Ducati 1m33.638
  15. Alex Marquez – Honda 1m33.700
  16. Miguel Oliveira – KTM 1m33.748
  17. Marc Marquez – Honda 1m33.776
  18. Enea Bastianini – Ducati 1m33.954
  19. Raul Fernandez – KTM 1m33.966
  20. Luca Marini – Ducati 1m34.165
  21. Marco Bezzecchi – Ducati 1m34.173
  22. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati 1m34.318
  23. Darryn Binder – Yamaha 1m34.495
  24. Remy Gardner – KTM 1m34.603

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