Jack Miller says Marc Marquez’s blistering 1m46.869s in MotoGP Aragon Grand Prix FP1 ‘f***ing hurt’, and believes the Honda rider has “another one in him”.
Reigning world champion Marquez has won the past three races at Aragon, and kicked off this year’s event by topping FP1 by a whopping 1.6 seconds.
He was fourth in the afternoon having elected against another time attack, but FP2 pacesetter Maverick Vinales was still 1.2s off Marquez’s FP1 benchmark.
Miller, who ended Friday as the strongest Ducati in sixth, called Marquez’s FP1 effort “impressive”, and admits he was left deflated when he saw the gulf in laptime splitting them.
“We know with Marc Marquez it’s not a one-off,” said Miller, who is 1.6s behind Marquez on the combined standings.
“He’s got another one in him for sure. But it was impressive.
“I came in, all high fives with my boys and I looked at the screen and they were like ‘ah, it’s good’.
“I looked at the screen and I saw fucking two seconds off, and I was like ‘Good? You’re saying that’s good?’ It fucking hurts.'”
Fabio Quartararo, who came very close to beating him last week at Misano, concluded that Marquez is in “another category” at Aragon – but stressed he was not invincible, citing his crash from a dominant lead at the Grand Prix of the Americas in April.
“He has a pace that nobody can reach this weekend, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t make a mistake like in Austin,” the Petronas SRT rider said.
“In the end we are thinking about doing our best job. I think we don’t need to look at Marc. He is another category this weekend, we saw this morning he was really fast.
“We saw that Misano was not a track really for him and he won, and I think this one is the best track for the Honda and for him.
“He can take 100% of himself and we saw that he was really fast.
“We will see on the weekend but our goal is not to beat Marc but make a good race, learn many things from the top riders and try to come back home with some points.”
Fellow Yamaha rider Vinales added that it is now down to the rest to reduce their deficit to Marquez.
“The reality is he is one second ahead; if it’s morning or afternoon it doesn’t matter,” Vinales added.
“Now he’s one second ahead and had a really good rhythm, so now it’s ourselves who have to close the gap.
“So he put the lap in, we need to close the gap.
“Today has been a good day for us for sure, because we are getting more consistent all the time, with first, second and third [going to Yamaha riders] during the practices.
“That’s the important thing. For sure, at the moment he has an advantage but it’s only Friday and we need to work to close the gap.”