Miller and Rabat satisfied with progress in Assen
Team Estrella Galicia Marc VDS 0,0 riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat made solid progress on the opening day of a historic Dutch TT weekend at Assen today.
Two full dry sessions under grey and threatening skies allowed Miller and Rabat to concentrate on fine-tuning the race set-up of their RC213V machinery in preparation for a 26-lap MotoGP encounter on Sunday in front of what is expected to be a sell-out crowd.
Hotter temperatures and improved grip levels compared to the opening practice enabled Miller to knock one second off his best time in this afternoon’s FP2, with a 1.35.008 placing him 16th on the combined leaderboard.
One of the biggest improvements at the start of the 86th Dutch TT, which will be staged on a Sunday for the first time in its history, came from Spanish rider Rabat.
Back to full fitness after his recent left collarbone injury problems, Rabat used this morning’s 45-minute session to familiarise himself with the fast and flowing 4.5km layout on a MotoGP machine.
He put the experience gained in FP1 to good use in the second session by dropping his pace by an impressive 1.3s.
Jack Miller: 16th – 1’35.008
“We had a few small problems this morning that we managed to get ironed out for the second session and I think we made decent progress today. I was a bit worried after FP1 because the weather like always in Assen looks pretty unpredictable and I wanted to get a banker lap in this morning. I put on new tyres but I had a problems with them and the brakes and that was a shame because I’m sure I could have gone quicker. I felt much more comfortable this afternoon and was actually pleased with my speed. Unfortunately I messed up my last lap because I had a big shake at high speed coming into the fast final section. Trying to stop a MotoGP bike at 300kph when it is moving around a lot is not easy and I was pretty lucky to get away with that one. Overall I’m happy and sure we can make another step tomorrow.”
Tito Rabat: 21st – 1’36.582
“It wasn’t an easy opening day here in Assen but sometimes it is like this. We have plenty of work to do but I am lacking a bit of confidence with the bike. It is a bit strange but I think I have to try and be calm and build back to the level I know I can show. Assen is a very fast track and if you are lacking a little bit of confidence to commit and push in some sections then you lose a lot of time. I’ll sit down with the team tonight and review the situation and hopefully we can be much stronger tomorrow.”
Cristian Gabarrini: Jack Miller Chief Engineer
“Today was a good start for Jack but we have to try and find a bit more confidence from the front-end for him. This track is very fast and you must have a good feeling from the front. We will also focus a lot on the hard rear tyre to be as best prepared for the race as we can. Tyre endurance will be key as always and we would also like to give Jack a more agile bike through the fast changes of direction. We only need to make small changes and I think that will be enough for Jack to post competitive times for the rest of the weekend.”