Austin anticipation builds for Rabat and Miller
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Tito Rabat and Jack Miller head from South to North America to take on the unique challenge posed by the spectacular Circuit of the Americas in Texas this weekend.
Rabat goes into round three of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship in high spirits after claiming his maiden top 10 finish in the premier class during last weekend’s dramatic race in Argentina.
The Spaniard has an impressive record at the Circuit of the Americas and in three Moto2 appearances at the 5.531km track he has never finished lower than fourth, which includes second place finishes in 2013 and 2014.
Rabat was able to race with experienced British duo Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow in Argentina last weekend and he is looking forward to further adapting his riding style to help him maintain his 100% points scoring record this season in Sunday’s 21-lap race.
Australian Jack Miller has fond memories of the Circuit of the Americas after he won the 2014 Moto3 race in Austin from pole position.
The 21-year-old starred in the early stages of an eventful Termas de Rio Hondo clash in Argentina last weekend when he picked up nine places in just three laps to stake a claim for the top six.
A crash prevented Miller from claiming his first top six MotoGP finish, but he’s shown plenty of promise in the opening two rounds to suggest he won’t have to wait much longer to break into the top 10.
The Circuit of the Americas throws up a demanding examination of man and machine, with 20 corners, a 1200m straight and jaw-dropping elevation of 41 metres from the grid to the first corner.
“I think I have been very clever in Qatar and Argentina because I have understood my limit and I’ve made sure I’ve finished in both to gain some crucial experience. The first day in Austin will be the same as the first two races and I’ll be adapting myself to the track on a MotoGP bike. I will be happy again if I continue to make progress in every session and the target will be to fight with the middle group. In Qatar I was so far away but in Argentina I was closer. I want to make another step and fight with a bigger group to help me learn more.”
“I really enjoy the Circuit of the Americas. I won the Moto3 race in 2014 and I have a lot of fun riding there. It should offer better grip than we had in Argentina, so hopefully we can adapt the bike quickly. The result wasn’t what we wanted in Argentina but we found some good improvements with the bike and I was able to make some steps with my riding style better that suited the package more. The positives far outweighed the negatives last weekend. Now I’ve just got to make sure I don’t push as hard!”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“I think since Qatar both Tito and Jack have made a big step with their performance and it was a shame that both of them didn’t finish inside the top 10 in Argentina. I think Tito’s first top 10 last weekend will give him a big boost. Qatar was a difficult debut but in Argentina he was able to race with some very experienced talent and he was able to learn a lot. Jack has already shown he has the potential to be very fast and I think in Argentina he was unlucky in qualifying and the race. He can take great encouragement from his performance in Argentina and hopefully he’ll bounce back with a strong result in Austin. We have seen that the Circuit of the Americas is a track that Honda has done exceptionally well on in the past, so hopefully it will be the same again this weekend.”