Ducati is tight-lipped about the apparent removal of its new front ride height device at the Indonesian MotoGP.
The Bologna manufacturer caused a stir when yet another holeshot innovation appeared on its bikes in pre-season testing, namely a device which allows the front end of the bike to be lowered and raised in lap, to optimise straight-line speed.
While its rivals all eventually copied the rear ride height device, there are moves afoot to ban the front device as soon as next year, and riders are split on its merits.
Furthermore, the Desmosedicis of Pramac Racing, which are also GP22-spec, are reportedly either also missing the device or seem to have it disconnected.
Holeshot systems have caused problems in their early forms, with Miller getting stuck riding an ‘Orange County Chopper' at Silverstone in 2019, and Suzuki, the last manufacturer to add a rear ride height device to its bikes, removing it soon after its introduction as it was too unrefined.
Factory Ducati team manager Davide Tardozzi was asked on the television world feed during practice if their new innovation was absent because of conditions, which could include the nature of the circuit, or if it was gone for good.
Notwithstanding the likelihood of a ban from either next year or 2024, he suggested that another version was in the works.
“It's not exactly like this,” said Tardozzi.
“We have something different, not removed, we have something different, but we had something different that we have not here.
“We are working on the device, and as we bring the good opportunity for the back and everybody copies, we bring the opportunity for the front and now everybody want to cancel.
“So, we will see what's going to happen in terms of next year, but we think this device can help the rider.
“Unluckily with the new one, we are a bit on delay, but what we like is innovation, and MotoGP is innovation.”
Miller was not giving a lot away when asked about the development, or lack thereof, in his media debrief.
“About that, I don't really want to comment too much,” said the Queenslander.
“We are trying devices and testing stuff, and yeah, not much to say.”
Miller was sixth-fastest in Friday practice while Bagnaia ended up only 21st after being caught out by two yellow flags, caused by crashes for Marc Marquez and Enea Bastianini, during the time attack phase in the latter session of the day.
His last chance to get directly into Qualifying 2, that being the third practice session, starts at 13:50 AEDT.
Free Practice 4 is due at 17:25 AEDT, followed immediately by the two qualifying sessions.