The Aussie was the shock of the weekend as he turned a nondescript winter adapting to the KTM right into a shock first in Friday follow, second row in qualifying and fourth within the Dash – within the wheel tracks of Marc Mark.
Sunday’s most important race posed the most important problem, with Miller by no means having accomplished 25 consecutive laps on the RC16. However he held on within the lead group throughout the early levels and was briefly promoted to 3rd by the Marquez-Oliveira-Martin collision.
Marco Bezzecchi took that spot from him, Miller then beginning a protracted race battle with Alex Marquez, plus his KTM teammate Binder.
However the orange machines struggled to clear the Desmosedici and have been punished when one other Ducati – Johann Zarco of Pramac – handed all three of them on the ultimate lap.
“It has been a great weekend,” Miller stated. “To say that I’m glad with seventh place, I’d say pork pies. Just because we ran for a very long time with these guys in entrance and I felt that I might proceed at this tempo.
“My fault although, I made a small mistake with 10 laps remaining. Simply missed a shift in 5 and allowed Marquez by. Ran somewhat deep after which he got here beneath me. He was capable of hold tempo for a couple of laps, however quickly dropped anchor fairly harshly.
“It was beginning to create a pleasant frustration there. It is bizarre to be on the opposite aspect of the desk, speaking about that Ducati energy! However that is the way it goes, what we’ve got to take care of and we work arduous.
“I used to be making an attempt every little thing I might to cross him and put sufficient daylight between me and him to guide into the primary nook, however I simply could not do it with this headwind.
“Marquez had baked his tire and Brad and I could not reap the benefits of it. However Johann had the torque, say, this factor actually accelerates out of corners and he had loads of tires left.
“As soon as he acquired previous Brad and me, he made brief work of Marquez, the place Brad and I have been caught behind him for 10 laps.
“But it surely was an excellent race for me by way of studying the bike as a result of it was essentially the most laps I did on the bike.
“And I actually understood a bit extra about aero.
“As a result of the bike itself has respectable energy and comes out of the final nook rather well, however type of a high cog, the tip of fifth gear, we type of – particularly with the headwind at this time – it drags an entire heap within the wind.
“You possibly can virtually really feel the rpm drop while you come out of the wake or while you get into that cool air.
“Nonetheless, fairly glad to get out of right here with factors in each races. Avoiding any actual dumb maneuvers. staying out of hassle and likewise at this time it was actually essential to get all these laps as a result of testing have been so restricted.
In hindsight, Miller most likely might have pushed the rear tire tougher.
“I used to be pleasantly stunned with how the tire felt in the direction of the tip. I did not wish to be hung to dry with three laps to go and be on the sting of a cliff (for grip), however I most likely had a couple of extra tires to provide away, we’ll study from that.
“So far as our maps and many others., that dash race yesterday helped us work out what we wanted and we have been in a position to make use of that to our benefit at this time.”
Seat spoiler a “big distinction”
Miller confessed that he did not just like the look of KTM’s new aero rear seat, however the distinction it supplied in driving grip shortly gained him over.
“I used to be somewhat hesitant to place it on as a result of it is ugly! However I seen an enormous distinction, particularly in turns 9 and 12 and even within the final nook. Simply the load on the bike. When you hit a sure pace, you’ll be able to really feel it pushing the tire and actually forcing it into the bottom, which was good.
One other good shock, the RC16 proved to be much less bodily to drive than the Ducati.
“I felt lower than the Ducati by way of physics,” he stated. “The bike itself is fairly nimble. My neck was somewhat stiff in the direction of the tip nevertheless it’s nonetheless fairly steep in Portimao, you may have three straights in a row and the primary nook earlier than you’ll be able to stretch your neck a bit the opposite manner.
Miller’s 4-7 outcomes imply he’s degree on factors with Zarco for fourth place within the World Championship heading into this weekend’s Argentinian spherical.
“I believe the primary race weekend was a hit, with respectable factors. Nothing to do with the transport Pecco took from right here, nevertheless it’s a protracted season. 40 different races. We’ll proceed to plug in,” he stated.
After ending twelfth and out of doors the Dash factors, Binder defied neck ache from a follow crash to assert his sixth spot on Sunday.