Courageous comeback by Miller in troubled Le Mans qualifying
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller staged a courageous comeback to qualify 11th for tomorrow’s French Grand Prix at the legendary Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans.
A remarkable recovery saw Miller take his place in the Q2 qualifying session following a scary crash at turn two in FP4. Earlier Miller had been impressively third fastest in variable conditions in FP3.
Miller’s dramatic exit from FP4 came after losing control of his Honda RC213V and making heavy impact with a trackside barrier.
After a medical check a shaken Miller took his place in Q2 on his spare bike despite the discomfort of football-size swelling on his right knee and bruised right hand.
Those injuries contributed to a second but harmless tumble at the final corner when he was set to improve his time in the final moments of qualifying.
Miller had topped the timesheets in variable damp and drying conditions in Friday practice and with treatment at the Clinica Mobile is confident of recovering for a strong performance in the race.
For Tito Rabat the tight confines and stop-go character of the Le Mans track have provided challenges in his preparation for tomorrow’s fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship.
But the Spaniard is determined to fight for a points scoring finish in the 28-lap race at the 4.18km Bugatti Circuit.
Jack Miller: 11th – 1’33.756
“I was happy to get back on the bike for qualifying after not feeling 100% after the crash in FP4. It was a nasty crash and I’m lucky to walk away with just some bruises. I had some locking on the front through turn one which sent me towards the wall and when I saw I wasn’t going to stop in time I let go before I hit the wall. In Q2 I went quicker on my first run but my hand was not perfect after the crash and I struggled to stop the bike on the brakes in the final corner and touched the kerb. A shame but I’ll be ready for the race after I get some ice on my hand and knee to get the swelling down.”
Tito Rabat: 22nd – 1’33.875
“It has been very difficult conditions, not only this track layout but the weather with rain and then half-wet, half-dry surface in free practice. Even in qualifying there were a couple of spots of rain but I made a good improvement to set my fastest time. I had a couple of moments and almost crashed on the second run but without many laps on a dry track I think it is OK. Now I am focussing on making a good race.”
Michael Bartholemy – Team Principal
“After the crash in FP4 I wasn’t sure that Jack would be able to get back on the bike for qualifying but after a medical check he went out showed how tough he is and how much he wanted to be on the grid. I know he is disappointed to be 11th on the fourth row but I am happy for this result after his big crash. For Tito this circuit with all the changes of direction and braking is not easy and a little frustrating but I know he is aiming for a good result in the race.”