Jack Miller is keen not to “put some kilos on where you don’t want to” in an extended MotoGP off-season due to the ongoing COVID-19-induced layoff.
The 2020 season start has been delayed to at least May due to the coronavirus outbreak, with Qatar cancelled and three further races – Thailand, the Americas and Argentina – postponed.
Miller left his base in Andorra has returned home to Australia with his parents in Townsville. There, the 25-year-old has continued his training program as he looks to stay fit and avoid putting on weight ahead of the 2020 season start, whenever that may be.
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Countryman and Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo believes many athletes will emerge from the layoff in better physical shape despite the lack of track time. However, the unknown of when competitors will return to the track remains a key anxiety.
That has hit home for Miller, who despite being motivated to keep up his fitness regime, is being left frustrated about not being able to mentally prepare for an upcoming race weekend as postponements proliferate.
Having experienced challenges to maintain his body weight in a sport which demands little extra baggage on finely-tuned machinery, the Pramac Racing rider says being home in his native Queensland has helped him find a routine.
“I’m not going to lie, it does test your motivation levels when you don’t have a specific time or date to aim towards,” he said in an interview on his website.
“You spend the winter getting fit, getting ready, you’ve done testing and then it all just stops. It feels like you’re stuck in purgatory.
“My training programme hasn’t changed… I’m still cycling and I’m still running, and I’ve made a point of getting up early in the mornings and getting into it.
“[It is] easy up here because it’s warm too, that definitely helps.”
Hovering around 64 kilograms, Miller needs to keep his weight down as combined rider/bike weight can play a key role in overall performance.
Ducati’s Petrucci, who is 181cm and 78kg, said in 2018: “In corners I put more weight and more force on the rear tyre, so when there’s less grip the tyre slides and then it gets hotter, so lap by lap the tyre gets hotter and its performance drops.
“I don’t know how to solve this problem, but I know it’s one of the reasons why Alvaro Bautista [169 cm/58kg] has been so fast in some recent races. He is very light, so he can use a fast rhythm all through the race.”
Miller knows how important it is to keep motivation high with regards to fitness, despite the draining lag of the coronavirus outbreak, which is keeping everyone in doors.
However, the Aussie has also been able to tap into his home soil roots, revealing it’s “the most time I’ve spent in Australia for about 10 years”.
“It’d be easy to lose motivation, train a bit less, put some kilos on where you don’t want to… that’s definitely something I’m trying to avoid because in the past I’ve struggled to get weight off if I put some on,” Miller said.
“I’ve worked really hard on that aspect of my riding so I’ll keep things where I can, that way I don’t have to push as hard later to be as close to top shape as I can be.
“The one plus in all of this is that it’s really nice to be home.. you wish it was for better reasons and it sucks not riding but there’s a positive to take out of it, for sure.
“I’ve kept pretty quiet and have been tinkering away on some bikes in the shed to keep myself busy, to be honest.”