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
The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title Plus

The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title

Ducati has littered the grid with eight strong motorcycles that has ensured it has had at least one rider stand on the podium at every grand prix in 2022. The drama of the Aragon Grand Prix has thrust Francesco Bagnaia well and truly into title contention with five races to go, and Ducati must now consider utilising a unique strength it has so far been reticent to embrace

MotoGP
Sep 19, 2022
How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects Plus

How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects

Reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner’s career has been derailed by KTM’s decision not to retain him at Tech3 for 2023. Amid difficult circumstances, Gardner hasn’t shamed himself. But KTM’s apparent reasoning for dropping him raises questions about its handling of its young riders and the unrealistic expectations placed on them

MotoGP
Sep 6, 2022
Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP Plus

Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP

OPINION: Honda is in the midst of a second winless season in the space of three years. The absence of the injured Marc Marquez has been a major contributing factor, but HRC’s inability to alter its own approach has seen it slide down the order. Marquez returned to the MotoGP paddock in Austria and provided a rallying cry Honda needed to hear.

MotoGP
Aug 22, 2022
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022
The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader Plus

The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader

Coinciding with the arrival of Massimo Rivola as head of its MotoGP division, Aprilia has undergone an internal revolution that has spurred it from occupying last place in the team standings to leading the table in the space of just two years. Those entrenched in the project reveal how the ex-Ferrari F1 chief has achieved the dramatic turnaround

MotoGP
Jul 15, 2022