Australian MotoGP rider Jack Miller is aiming for his first top-10 finish of the season on Sunday at Phillip Island.
In his first year with the LCR Honda team, Miller’s best is an 11th-placed finish at Catalunya – a mark he is hopeful of surpassing in front of his home crowd at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
“It’s going to be a battle. We’re on the open Honda; it’s not a factory machine; we’re not going to be challenging for the victory or podiums but we’re going to do the best we can,” Miller said on Wednesday.
“Hopefully, if we can get inside the top 10, that would be really nice.
“We’ll definitely be pushing and we’ll see what we can do.”
The Queenslander is being groomed for bigger things in the sport, with a move up to a stronger Honda team next year expected to be announced before Sunday’s race.
Miller, who won last year’s third-tier Moto3 race at Phillip Island and finished second in the championship, was reluctant to detail the mooted promotion but was clearly excited by the prospect of riding a more-competitive bike.
With three rounds left on the MotoGP calendar, the battle for the championship between Movistar Yamaha teammates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo will be the key focus at Phillip Island.
Rossi moved 18 points clear of Lorenzo at the top of the standings with a second placing at last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Lorenzo had to be content with third after Dani Pedrosa handled the wet conditions better to win his first race of the season on his Repsol Honda.
Rossi is Miller’s pick to widen the championship gap with a win in Sunday’s Grand Prix.
“He’s like a fine wine – he just keeps getting better and better,” he said of 36-year-old Rossi.
“He’s put in an amazing performance this year and, as we’ve seen in previous years, he’s been pretty strong at the island.
“It will be interesting to see because Jorge has really come on in form, too.”