n MotoGP rider Jack Miller is hoping for a better Grand Prix at Phillip Island this year.n MotoGP ace Jack Miller is confident he can challenge for a podium finish and perhaps even break through for a maiden home grand prix win at Phillip Island this weekend.
The Queenslander has fond memories of last year’s race at the famed island circuit where he stormed to an early lead on his Marc VDS Honda before settling for seventh.
Miller has enjoyed mixed fortunes this season after switching to Ducati with Pramac Racing.
He qualified on the front row in third at last week’s Japanese MotoGP, but crashed out with 13 laps remaining in the race.
Star Spaniard Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) took the chequered flag first to claim his seventh world title, with Miller currently 13th in the championship standings with three races to go.
“Coming into Phillip Island I’m on a better machine than I was last year and we led for seven laps,” Miller told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.
“Hopefully this year we can turn it into 27 (laps).
“I’m excited and nervous … I know what I did wrong last year in terms of tyre consumption, so I can take what I learnt and use that knowledge here, especially in my tyre choice and race strategy.
“… If we didn’t go out there thinking we had a chance of winning we wouldn’t go out there.”
Miller claimed a surprise maiden MotoGP win in the rain at Assen in 2016, but hasn’t managed a podium finish this year.
The 23-year-old will remain with Pramac Racing next season, but will be on a better bike when he takes over the No.1 spot to be vacated by Italian teammate Danilo Petrucci.
Despite some teething issues as he learns the ins and outs of his new machine, Miller is happy with his first season on a Ducati.
“We’ve been really close to the podium on a lot of occasions,” he said.
“(I) got a pole position at the second grand prix … it’s the first time I’ve (qualified) on the front row this year and to be there three times already on a year-old bike, I feel it’s been a good season.
“There have been some dramas, we’ve crashed out of three races which is not ideal but I’ve had worse seasons that’s for sure.
“… The goal is to try to crack 100 (championship) points before the end of the year.”