Australian MotoGP rider Jack Miller is gunning for a top eight finish in this weekend’s Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Phillip Island.
But just finishing without any new injuries would be an improvement.
Miller says 2016, his second season in the premier MotoGP division, has been his rollercoaster year.
A broken leg was followed by a broken hand, wrist and back in various crashes that have curtailed his development.
Conversely, the 21-year-old experienced the euphoria of a race win in the Netherlands – the first of any Moto3 graduate.
After another retirement in Japan last weekend, Miller was keen to stave off fears he wouldn’t be able to perform on the Island in front of local fans.
“I definitely gave it a bit of a test on the weekend, falling off and trying to injure myself again,” he said.
“We had too many problems with my hand and with my back (and) decided to give it a rest.
“But felt good to get back on the bike. There shouldn’t be anything holding me back this weekend.”
If he wasn’t so young and so full of promise, 2016 would be seen as a lost opportunity for Miller.
The Honda pilot has finished just six of 15 races this year.
Riding on the second-tier Marc VDS Honda team, Miller hasn’t enjoyed a fair fight with the likes of champion Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi.
Perhaps that’s why he’s set his sights a little lower than his heroics in Assen for the Australian MotoGP.
“Inside top eight I’d be over the moon,” he said.
“As we’ve seen this year, the factory bikes are just one step in advance to us.
“Phillip Island is a track that can be a good leveller. It’s a really high speed, flowing track and it should help us out.”
His breakthrough win – the first for an Australian since Casey Stoner in 2012 – will mean Miller will likely receive a hero’s homecoming on the Island.
Not that he thinks he deserves it.
“That was a long time ago. I’ve forgotten about that because we’ve had a lot of bad races since then,” he said.
“Phillip Island is a track I’ve done well at in the past, it’s a track that I enjoy riding.
“Since the Assen win, the next track I was looking forward to was Phillip Island.”