Miller and Rabat get the 2016 season underway at Valencia
Valencia, Spain – 11 November 2015: Just two days after a thrilling finale brought the 2015 season to a close, Jack Miller and Tito Rabat were back on track at Valencia to start the build up to 2016 with a two-day MotoGP test.
With perfect weather conditions on both days of the test Miller and Rabat were able to familiarise themselves fully with the Honda RC213V, as well as the Michelin tyres with which they will race in 2016.
While Miller has a year of experience already in MotoGP, the Valencia test provided him with the first opportunity to test the factory specification Honda RC213V campaigned by the team in 2015. The 20-year-old Australian was particularly impressed with the seamless gearbox and factory electronics package, which he credited with allowing him to rediscover the consistency that has eluded him since making the step up to the premier class at the start of the season.
Rabat brought with him to the premier class the same work ethic that saw him crowned as Moto2 World Champion just 12 months ago, completing 132 laps of the Valencia circuit over the course of the two days. Fatigue in his injured left wrist forced the 26-year-old Spaniard to end the test early, but he declared himself happy with both his pace and consistency after his first two days on the bike.
Miller and Rabat will now enjoy a well-earned break before resuming their test program at Sepang in early February.
Jack Miller: 16th – 1’32.100
“I’ve really enjoyed my time on the new bike over the two days; the electronics and the seamless gearbox make a big difference. You don’t have to worry about keeping the bike in a straight line or it stepping out unexpectedly, so you can focus on the other things, like trying to hit the same line on every lap. I felt smoother and smoother on the bike with every exit and that was reflected in the consistency of my lap times. Unfortunately we had three small offs, but that’s to be expected when you’re pushing on new tyres. The Michelin tyres are great, but they are very different in character to the Bridgestones and we will need time to make the transition. Getting a feeling for the tyres has been one key point of this test and going fast has been another.”
Tito Rabat: 18th – 1’32.402
“I did a lot of laps on the first day to get a feel for the Honda RC213V and the Michelin tyres and I was quite pleased with my lap time. Today I did fewer laps but we made a small improvement to the lap time and my pace was consistent, which is important. Riding the MotoGP bike is more physically demanding than the Moto2 bike I’m used to and, after the marathon session yesterday, this morning I had some pain and inflammation in my injured wrist. This made it difficult to change direction quickly, but it also meant I couldn’t be so precise with my line through the corners so we ended the test a little early. Overall I’m happy. I have a good feeling with both the bike and tyres and I have enjoyed working with my new crew. The communication is good and their experience has helped me make the transition to MotoGP more quickly. Now I have two months for my wrist to recover and to focus on training, before heading to Malaysia for the next test, for which I can’t wait!”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“For both Jack and Tito the Honda RC213V was a new experience and neither of them have much time on the Michelin tyres, so for us the test was more about familiarisation than lap times. However, both of them exceeded our expectations, not just with their pace, but also with their consistency. We’ve added a lot of people to our structure in only a few days but I’m happy to see that, already, both sides of the pit box are working well, not just individually, but together. This test here at Valencia was a positive start for the team and I’m looking forward to seeing what both riders can do when we resume testing in Sepang next year.”