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Rain could help Miller at Aust MotoGP

AAP logoAAP 21/10/2016 Jason Phelan

Jack Miller of Australia and Marc VDS Racing Team speaks during the press conference pre-event during previews ahead of the 2016 MotoGP of Australia at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. © Mirco Lazzari/Getty Images Jack Miller of Australia and Marc VDS Racing Team speaks during the press conference pre-event during previews ahead of the 2016 MotoGP of Australia at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Wet weather at Phillip Island has caused headaches for Australian MotoGP organisers, but it could play into the hands of local hope Jack Miller.

The Queenslander was third quickest around the rain-affected circuit in the first free practice session on Friday, with the second practice washed out as conditions deteriorated.

The cancellation gives the strong factory teams less time to bring their resources to bear in fine-tuning their bikes.

If the wet weather forces further cancellations on Saturday, Miller thinks his Marc VDS Honda team might need to re-evaluate their pre-race goal of a top-eight finish.

"It looks like a wet Saturday and maybe a dry Sunday, which might benefit us in the long run," he said.

"The guys on the factory bikes will have less time to set up with the stuff that they've got (which is) better than us.

"I've got high hopes for this weekend. It's a track I've always liked.

"We did well here last year on the open bike and coming back with the satellite Honda, I think we might have a little bit of a chance to get even closer to the front."

Miller finished 15th at Phillip Island in 2015 and managed to break through for his maiden MotoGP win at the Dutch Grand Prix in June in similarly wet conditions.

The 21-year-old has endured a torrid second season in the top flight of MotoGP, dealing with back, arm and hand fractures that have forced him to miss races.

He wasn't one of the few riders who ventured on to the track before second practice was cancelled, which he said was the right call for the safety of the riders.

"There was just too much water sitting on the ground ... we were already aquaplaning in the morning and this afternoon it was even worse," he said.

"It's a fast track here ... there were almost rivers forming across the track at turn three, which is never a good thing.

"I don't want to snap myself in half again, that's for sure."

The only other Australian on the MotoGP grid, injury replacement Mike Jones on an Avintia Racing Ducati, finished 13th in practice.

Remy Gardner put a week of turmoil behind him to record the 10th quickest-lap in Moto2 practice on his Tasca Racing Scuderia bike.

Gardner was detained by Japanese authorities with his father, motorcycling great Wayne Gardner, over an alleged road rage incident before the Japanese Grand Prix last Sunday.

Australia's lone entrant in the Moto3 class, Matt Barton, is 30th in the standings on his Suus Honda.

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