Local hope Jack Miller has downplayed his chances of landing a podium finish in Sunday’s Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island.
The Marc VDS Honda rider scored a surprise maiden win at the Dutch MotoGP in June, but the Queenslander warned local fans to temper their expectations.
“A lot of people think because we got one victory they think we’re fighting for the podium but this is not the fact of the matter at the moment,” Miller told reporters on Wednesday.
“If I can get inside the top eight that would be feeling like victory for me.
“Really anything inside the top 10 I’d be happy with this weekend.”
Miller’s Dutch win came in wet and slippery conditions, but he’s hoping for dry weather at the circuit renowned for its fast-flowing racing.
The Assen victory aside, Miller has endured a torrid second season in the top flight MotoGP class.
He has missed races with a variety of injuries but he at least feels physically up to the challenge at Phillip Island this weekend.
“I’ll never be 100 per cent again, but I’m feeling about 90 per cent right now,” he said.
“I’m still walking … that’s the main thing. My back has healed up and my hand is OK. Japan is a really hard braking track and I didn’t break it there and I had four crashes.
“But I have a bit of a motto ‘You’re here for one life and what are you going to do with your body when you’re gone?’
“You might as well use it.”
Miller’s team is a second-tier feeder of the Repsol Honda factory MotoGP family, but the Australian said he had given little thought to the possibility of replacing injured Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa.
The Spaniard, who broke his collarbone in Japan last week, will instead be replaced by American veteran Nicky Hayden.