Jack Miller was in sparkling form in front of home fans with the 11th fastest time on the opening day of practice for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.
Miller has set his sights on his first a top ten finish at Phillip Island in his rookie MotoGP season aboard an Open class Honda RC213V-RS.
The 20 year old Townsville flyer stunned the factory riders with his performance in a cool and blustery Friday morning FP1 session when he was fifth fastest.
Then in the afternoon practice session in sunny and warm conditions Miller worked on race set-up and tyre choice including an assessment of the asymmetric Bridgestone front tyre.
“For sure, the bike definitely has the potential to be in the top ten here,” said Miller who was 11th overall across two sessions.
“But it will be interesting for tyre choice because we have been eating out the front tyres. And with the race being at four o’clock with the temperature dropping lap by lap we will have to work on a safe set-up.
“I’ve always said this track was going to suit our bike because of the high corner speeds. The spots I’m struggling are the two slow corners, Turn 4 and Turn 10 at the hairpin.
“My worst sector is the final sector because of trying to get the bike out of Turn 10 and then into Turn 11 – I’m losing out on the run onto the straight.
“I’m struggling a little with wheelspin and our electronics system. We are trying to get the traction control to help us out.”
Miller was the fastest of the Open class Hondas with a time of 1’30.712s just ahead of American rider Nicky Haden.
Honda star Marc Marquez led the charge posting the fastest time of the day, a 1’29.383, closely following by Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) with Suzuki rider Maverick Vinales charging into third place.
The top three were separated by just 0.13s. Championship-points leader Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) was ninth overall but just over half a second behind Marquez.
Thirteen riders, including Miller, were within one second of Marquez ‘s quick time.
Miller had a couple of harmless off-track excursions including one at turn two in the second session on his first run on the asymmetric front tyre designed to handle the work load of the Island’s seven left handers.
“It was my first run on the asymmetric front and it is a little harder compound on the left side and as I came into turn 2 (Southern Loop) it wasn’t stopping like I wanted,” Miller said.
“I didn’t know the limit of the tyre and ran wide onto the grass and did a u-bolt and came back on.”