Miller: Ducati ‘chasing its arse’ seeking 2021 MotoGP bike gains

Factory Ducati rider Jack Miller says he and his team are currently ‘chasing our arse’ looking for marginal gains with its 2021 MotoGP bike in Qatar pre-season testing.

Miller: Ducati ‘chasing its arse’ seeking 2021 MotoGP bike gains

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all official pre-season testing has been confined to the Losail International Circuit and the riders will have just five days of running before the opening two rounds at the circuit.

Only KTM and Aprilia have been able to build completely new bikes for 2021, with COVID cost-saving restrictions meaning Ducati, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda have to carry over their 2020 engines to this season.

As a result, Ducati's GP21 bike that Miller – who was second quicker on Sunday - has been testing this weekend isn’t a radical step forward over last year’s model, which means Ducati is having to “nit-pick” where it can gain lap time in Qatar.

The Australian was second-fastest on day two of the test, 0.077s slower than pace-setting Yamaha factory rider Fabio Quartararo, with track running resuming on Wednesday.

When asked if the test schedule being broken up by two days off changed his programme, Miller replied: “Yeah, thank God I’m not doing race runs just yet. A few days off will be nice to let the body recover a little and back into it again.

“For sure it’s different, but in saying that I think it’s good, especially for the rookies. They get a lot of days riding the track and they get to race at the track.

“It’ll help them, but in terms of us, the guys that have been here already it’s kind of weird because we’re just sort of trying to chase our arse a little bit, just sort of nit-pick here and there on the bike and try and understand what we can improve and what we can’t.”

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

One of the most significant updates Ducati has brought to the GP21 is a new aerodynamic fairing concept, which Miller spent much of the day testing on Sunday.

Although he felt the bike had gained some stability with the new fairing, Miller doesn’t feel it has changed much from the 2020 version.

“I had that [new fairing concept] one pretty much the majority of today, only doing a back-to-back with the older one,” he added.

“I’m pretty positive with it, we’ll have to look at it a little bit more and see if they can develop it further or if that’s what we got for the season.

“But pretty happy with how it’s going, but we didn’t lose any speed, so that’s a positive.

“It’s quite similar [to last year’s], nothing really strange. The bike’s got maybe a little more stable, but that’s about all.”

shares
comments
Quartararo pips Miller on second day of Qatar MotoGP test
Previous article

Quartararo pips Miller on second day of Qatar MotoGP test

Next article

Vinales "surprised" by Qatar MotoGP test long run pace on old bike

Vinales "surprised" by Qatar MotoGP test long run pace on old bike
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence Plus

The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Plus

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Autosport, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Plus

The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. Autosport analyses what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP Plus

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt Plus

How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022
Why Quartararo's Portugal win wasn't only vital for his MotoGP title hopes Plus

Why Quartararo's Portugal win wasn't only vital for his MotoGP title hopes

Fabio Quartararo got his MotoGP title defence off the ground in the Portuguese Grand Prix as a dominant first win of 2022 rocketed him to the top of the standings. While a significant result in terms of his title hopes, it has come at an even more important time in terms of his 2023 contract negotiations

MotoGP
Apr 25, 2022
How a MotoGP legend is preparing for an unexpected comeback at Goodwood Plus

How a MotoGP legend is preparing for an unexpected comeback at Goodwood

Wayne Rainey, who’s paralysed from the chest down, will ride his 1992 500cc world championship-winning bike again at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed. The American motorcycle legend explains how he's preparing to thrill on his first visit to the famed hillclimb

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2022