Miller and Rabat conclude successful Phillip Island test
Phillip Island, Australia – 19 February 2016: The rain again disrupted proceedings on the final day of testing at Phillip Island, but the interruption was a short one and both Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders declared themselves satisfied with progress today.
Jack Miller and Tito Rabat were quickly on the pace this morning, but both crashed shortly before lunch. Miller was the first to go down, sliding off the bike at Siberia without injury. Five minutes later Rabat also went down after losing the front at the ultra-fast Doohan Corner. The former Moto2 World Champion underwent a precautionary examination in the circuit medical centre, but was uninjured and returned to the pit box to continue testing.
The onset of rain just before lunchtime brought a temporary halt to proceedings. However, the track dried rapidly once the clouds had dispersed and the riders were able to return to the track for the final two hours of testing, during which Rabat took a low speed tumble at Honda Corner, again without injury.
Both Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders set their fastest time of the test on their final flying laps during this afternoon’s session, to finish within a second of the fastest time, set by Marc Márquez.
Miller and Rabat will now have just over a week to reflect on these three days at Phillip Island, before heading to Qatar and the third and final preseason test of 2016, which gets underway on Wednesday 2nd March.
Jack Miller: 15th – 1’30.023
“It’s been a good test and we’ve managed to get a lot of things out of the way here, so we’re not faced with a massive job in Qatar in two weeks. I think just to feel how it was on the bike here was well worth it and it’s going to be even better in Qatar with an extra two weeks to heal and more physiotherapy, so it’s all good. It’s a shame about the weather, but we still managed to get a heap of laps in and I was stoked to be back on the bike. The lap this afternoon felt comfortable and I didn’t feel like I was taking any risks. The fall this morning was my error; I had a bit of a moment and pushed the pads back in the calipers, but it was only a small one. I’m really happy with the first test of 2016 and I’m looking forward to Qatar.”
Tito Rabat: 16th – 1’30.119
“I’ve learnt a lot here at Phillip Island, both in the wet and the dry, so I’m happy about that. I had two crashes today; one big one at turn one and one small one at turn four, but even these had a positive aspect. The fact that I crashed, but was able to get back on the bike and improve again was good for my confidence. Now I understand a little better the Honda RC213V and the Michelin tyres, but there is still a lot of work to be done. For me it is important we make improvements step-by-step, rather than being pushed into trying to run before we can walk and risking the consequences of a big crash. I leave Phillip Island happy and I can’t wait to get back on the bike in Qatar.”
Cristian Gabarrini: Chief Engineer – Jack Miller
“We made a lot more progress than we expected here at Phillip Island. We were unsure of Jack’s physical condition following his injury, but in the end he had good endurance, completing more than 50 laps yesterday and almost 40 more today. This was a good test, with Jack setting his fastest time right at the end today, on a tyre that had already done ten laps. Having missed the Sepang test this was Jack’s first time on the latest Michelin tyres and we think we’ve found something here that can help him get the best from them, so we’re really satisfied with the test.”