Miller aiming to end season in the points at Valencia
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller will seek to close out the 2016 season with a points scoring finish in Sunday’s 30-lap race in Valencia.
Miller bounced back from a harmless fall in the morning FP3 session to qualify 15th on the grid with a best lap of 1’31.686.
The 21-year-old Australian admitted to being cautious in qualifying with the lack of front-end feel but is confident of finding an improved set-up in the pre-race warm-up session.
Miller’s crew worked through a range of options to try and maximise performance with the choice of four front tyre options provided by Michelin for the Valencia race.
Qualifying was run in near perfect sunny and warm conditions with a huge turnout of fans crammed into the stadium-style 4km Ricardo Tormo Circuit.
Tito Rabat was frustrated not to be faster in qualifying and reproduce his pace from FP3 before his home Spanish fans, as he battled rear grip issues with his Honda RC213V.
Despite being a MotoGP rookie Rabat has higher expectations than a starting spot on the last row of the grid and will work with his crew to find overnight set-up solutions for the final race of the season.
Jack Miller: 15th – 1’31.686
“The crash I had in FP3 knocked my confidence a little so I just wanted to make sure I put together a solid qualifying session to be ready for the race tomorrow. I ran into some traffic on my first run but had a clear track on my second exit, my main struggle is through the middle sector of the lap. But overall I’m happy at this track and I feel good about improving my race pace for a strong performance to end the season.”
Tito Rabat: 21st – 1’32.181
“It was a little frustrating not to be able to solve the problem of how to open the gas earlier for better acceleration especially because in braking and corner speed I feel really strong. But when I go to open the throttle I have a problem and we need to understand if this is an electronics issue or something else because it means I lose a lot of time on the straight. I’m looking forward to making a good race to finish my rookie season in MotoGP.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“The situation with Jack is similar to most of this season in that he lacks some confidence and feeling in the front and finding a solution is not easy, we have tried many set-up options. Jack and his crew have put in a big effort and 15th on the grid does not reflect that work but we know that Jack is at his best on race day. I understand Tito’s frustrations especially because this circuit is not easy if you lack rear grip but we must recognise that it is part of the learning curve in his rookie season.”