Difficult day for Miller and Rabat in France
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat both failed to finish a crash-marred French Grand at Le Mans today.
It was a cruel blow because both riders had their Honda RC213Vs in point scoring positions when they made early exits from the 28-lap race on the famous Bugatti circuit.
Miller and Rabat were not alone in sliding out of the race, which also saw crashes by double world champion Marc Márquez and star Italian riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone on the demanding Le Mans layout.
Australian Miller had surged from 18th on the sixth row of the grid to be in tenth position when he inexplicably lost the front at the tricky turn seven on lap 18.
It was an impressive burst from the hard charging Miller who is slowly recovering full fitness after two painful injuries to his right ankle and foot.
MotoGP rookie Rabat was inconsolable after anticipating a confidence boosting performance only to make a mistake on lap eight when challenging for 15th and a points scoring position after starting on the last row of the grid.
The fifth round of the MotoGP world championship was won by Jorge Lorenzo with only 13 finishers from 21 starters before a near capacity crow of 99,053.
Jack Miller: DNF
“It was a disappointing race. We pushed hard with a plan to have a strong weekend in Le Mans and it was looking good but with 10 laps to go I came into corner seven and lost the front. It felt normal, like the lap before, not too fast and then I just hit the bump and the bike disappeared from under me. Everyone struggled with the front tyre today and that is what happened to us.”
Tito Rabat: DNF
“I am very disappointed because I did a very good warm-up session in the morning and I felt good for the race. I had just passed Loris Baz and I was going a little faster and closed the front on the entry to turn six. I'm sorry for the team and myself because I don't know how I could do such a big mistake.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Two DNFs is a big shame especially when you lose both places out of the points and in Jack's case pushing to move to ninth place. It is difficult for a private team because we need results and this was a day when it was possible to get some points. There were a lot of crashes and it is a shame to go home with zero points.”