Miller and Rabat face the challenge of revised Catalunya Circuit
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat were separated by just two tenths of a second at the end of a competitive qualifying session for the Grand Prix of Catalunya.
Miller will start 19th just ahead of Rabat in 20th with both riders posting fastest times on their final qualifying laps.
It was another challenging day with Miller chasing front-end confidence and Rabat still not 100% fit as he recovers from the collarbone injury he suffered at Mugello two weeks ago.
And changes to the circuit layout only added to the complexity of finding the optimum set-up for tomorrow's 25-lap race, the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship.
Following the tragic death of Spanish Moto2 rider Luis Salom in Friday's FP2 session a revised circuit configuration was introduced by Race Direction.
The 4.65 km layout is the same as used for Formula One at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, with a slow chicane before the final corner and a tighter turn 10 to provide additional run-off area.
As result lap times increased by almost three seconds compared to the previous layout with the increased physical effort testing Rabat's endurance to the limit.
Jack Miller: 19th – 1’45.942
“I'm not too thrilled with my starting position and for the moment I seem to have found my limit to be really confident to push for a faster time at this circuit. I did my best lap riding alone and although I lost a little time when I missed a gear in the third sector this did not make a big difference. Now we just need to look at what we can do for the race and try and grab some points.”
Tito Rabat: 20th – 1’46.205
“The changes in the track layout did not help me because it requires more physical effort especially in the chicane complex before the final corner. But with the condition of my collarbone injury I am just happy to be on the grid for my home race in front of my family, friends and fans. It will not be easy but I will do my best to get a good result.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“With the changes to the track we anticipated an opportunity to be closer to the front in qualifying but things didn't go our way. With Jack we need to find a solution that can improve his lap times and rhythm over the race distance. We knew that this weekend would be difficult for Tito with his physical condition just two weeks after fracturing his collarbone in Mugello, so it was a big effort from him to do his fastest time on the last lap.”