MotoGP

Miller “quietly confident” about 2022 Ducati after Sepang MotoGP test

Ducati comes into 2022 as the hot favourite to take the battle to Fabio Quartararo and Yamaha in the championship after a strong end to 2021, in which it arguably emerged with the best bike on the grid having won seven races to Yamaha’s six.

Championship runner-up Francesco Bagnaia called the 2021 Ducati “perfect” at last November’s Jerez test and heaped praise on the early 2022 prototype.

And Miller – who was 14th on the combined times at Sepang after an issue stopped him from completing another time attack before the rain came on Sunday – feels “the potential is there big style” with the updated 2022 bike brought to Malaysia.

“Just already yesterday [Saturday] shaking it down, overcoming some of the issues we were having, we were able to overcome most of them today,” Miller said of his new bike.

“I only got to do one time attack this morning, we had an issue with the bike, so in saying that to go and push on one tyre and do the time we did [a 1m58.645s], I’m happy with that.

“The pace was there, again just working on the engine character, the way the electronics and stuff are working, but in between that trying new parts and stuff like that.

“So, it’s been a busy test. It’s a shame it rained in the afternoon because we kinda needed more track time.

“Anyway, I think we got some really good data. And again, everything that we tried and the ideas that we had and worked towards they seemed to be better and better.

“So, I’m quietly confident with the bike, it’s growing on me more and more.

Jack Miller, Ducati Team, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Dorna

“And I think we don’t need to have the best bike at the test, we need to have the best bike when Qatar rolls around and I think we’re well on our way to doing that.”

Bagnaia was sixth-fastest on the combined times – while the top 2022 Ducati was Jorge Martin in third – felt the pace he had on the GP22 on Sunday was good enough to make him competitive if a race had been imminent.

“For sure, like every time we start with a new thing you have to work,” he said.

“We did an incredible step in front [on Sunday], so I’m very happy about today.

“My pace was very strong, and if there was a race we would be very competitive to fight.

“So, I’m happy about that. The level is still not as I want, because I would like to be more competitive.

“But already just in the second day of testing with this new bike, we are very close to finding this difference to last year’s bike.

“We have to concentrate on different things, but we are happy.”

Bagnaia added that his main focus at Sepang was getting the electronics to match up with Ducati’s new engine and began the test already close to where he was with the 2021 bike in that area.

“We are speaking about electronics, because the engine is new, the bike is new, the electronics is adapted to last year’s bike,” he explained.

“We did an incredible job last year to adapt everything and we have to do it again.

“We are closer to last year when we started, so we are working on it and during this morning and yesterday afternoon, and this morning the step was very good.”


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