Miller and Rabat improve pace in Spain
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat were satisfied with progress made on the opening day of practice for this weekend’s Jerez MotoGP round in Spain.
A best time of 1.41.904 in FP2 this afternoon put Miller in 20th position, with the Australian slowly building up his confidence again after a high speed crash in practice for the previous round in Texas prevented him from participating in the Circuit of the Americas race.
Miller has undergone extensive treatment on the right ankle he damaged in the Austin spill, but he is still lacking confidence and comfort on Honda’s RC213V machine to push to his absolute limit around the fast and flowing 4.4km Jerez track.
In hotter temperatures, and with the benefit of improved grip on track for FP2, Miller was still able to lap almost 1.2s faster this afternoon, which was a richly deserved reward for his effort to get fit for the opening European round of 2016.
Home crowd favourite Rabat was also able to knock almost one second off his fastest in the second session. Rabat posted a 1.42.230 to finish just over 0.3s behind Miller.
The Spanish rider will once again concentrate on reducing wheelie under acceleration out of Jerez’s low gear hairpins like the Dry Sack and Jorge Lorenzo turns when he returns to the track for FP3 tomorrow morning.
Jack Miller: 20th – 1’41.904
“My confidence is a little bit low after the Texas crash and I’d say today I was only able to ride at 50% of my normal potential. My leg feels pretty sore but I managed to grit my teeth and get through the two sessions. My main goal is to try and get the bike working a little better for me here. If we go to a low grip track we don’t have so many problems but on a track like Jerez that offers high grip and has an abrasive surface, it makes our job more complicated. I’ll work a lot with the Clinica Mobile staff tonight to ice the foot again to prevent it from swelling up too much and come out fighting again tomorrow.”
Tito Rabat: 21st – 1’42.230
“I’m happy with the step I made with the lap time this afternoon. I was happy once I got into my rhythm but it is clear to see that it is not enough. I’m losing too much again on the exit of corner with wheelie and we will try and improve in that area tomorrow. I am sure if we can lessen the wheelie under acceleration I can make a big step, so I will work on my lines and technique and hope we can move further up the rankings tomorrow.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Tito made a good step in the second session this afternoon, even though we didn’t make any drastic modifications to the set-up of the bike. We would all like to be closer to the front, but we have to remember this is not an easy track to come to as a rookie and I think he coped with the challenge very well. It is clear that Jack is still having some problems with the ankle injury. He doesn’t have the confidence to put the bike where he needs to on track and we have to make some adjustments to make him more comfortable. But his physical condition at this moment is proving a big handicap.”