From a weekend in Argentina below expectations, Jack Miller didn’t hide his appreciation of the American track and rocked the second half in free practice behind teammate Johann Zarco.
"The bike has improved a lot compared to last week, especially in terms of grip,” the Australian rider said. “I was able to ride the way I know how and have fun doing it. I must say that they’ve also done a great job with the new asphalt. This definitely also contributed a lot today. We haven't used the device, but we won't stop using it."
Today you mounted soft compounds on both tires. Many instead preferred to work with the medium or hard. A strategic decision? What do think?
”No, I'd be surprised if someone didn't use the hard or the medium on the front here in Austin. The soft can be useful in qualifying but not beyond. As for the rear tire, there are various options. Last year, I was one of the few to mount the hard compound even on the rear, but without getting the result I expected. So, on Sunday, we’ll have to decide carefully ahead of the race. Overall, however, the feeling is exactly what I like. Riding on this track with the new bike and with that sector that has improved a lot after resurfacing, the expectations are good."
The Ducati will probably do better this year than last year, but the other bikes have also improved. Above all, Suzuki has proven to have a good pace on a circuit where they also got podiums in the past. What do you think?
"Suzuki has definitely proven to have good potential, even if they only have two bikes. It’s a circuit on which they can manage the tires well. Yamaha did well today, too, so it's hard to say for sure what's going to happen. But it seems like Suzuki risked overheating another engine. It’s not up to me to judge their decisions, but the season is still long, and it could become a problem."
As for the wind, did you have any problems? What are your expectations for qualifying?
”The wind wasn't a big deal, and I think it's partly thanks to the new bike. Compared to the past, it’s no longer a real obstacle, especially at turn ten where, along with the bumps, it was a real disaster. But it could create some problems in Q1."
What’s the reason for this improvement in your confidence with the bike?
"The last race weekend wasn’t the best. We tried to work well with the team, so as not to make the same mistakes. Compared to Argentina, I can now make the most of the bike in corners, using the edges of the tires better. Now the bike is much better."