Miller and Rabat set for legendary Le Mans
The historic Bugatti track in Le Mans poses the next challenge for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat at this weekend’s French MotoGP round.
The pair completed a mammoth stint of over 150 laps between them during a recent post race test session in Jerez, which allowed them to focus on improving the set-up of their Honda RC213V machinery for the specific test that will be provided by the Le Mans venue.
Le Mans features a stop and go layout of 4.2km in length, and its various tight hairpins place significant emphasis on braking stability and hard acceleration, which Miller and Rabat worked extensively on during the one-day Jerez test. A low grip surface and frequently cold and wet conditions also add to the challenge of conquering the famous Le Mans venue.
Miller won at Le Mans in Moto3 back in 2014 and he is hopeful of a return to the point scoring places this weekend, having had more time for his troublesome right ankle injury to recover.
Rabat has also tasted success in Le Mans and the Spaniard was a podium finisher in Moto2 in 2014 and 2015. And he is hoping to put the confidence and experience gained during the Jerez test to good use, with the clear goal to secure a fourth top 15 finish in five races.
The French Grand Prix in Le Mans has been a permanent fixture on the MotoGP World Championship schedule since 2000 and the Bugatti track forms part of the iconic 24-Hour circuit.
“I’m feeling good physically after another week to focus on getting my right ankle stronger. Le Mans doesn’t have as many right turns as Jerez, so I’m expecting this weekend to be a little easier on my leg. I’m still working hard on a daily basis to get the ankle better but I am excited to get to Le Mans and improve where we left off at the end of the test in Jerez. We had a few things to test in Jerez and we’ll try and put together what we learned to find a good setting for Le Mans. I’m expecting to be more competitive than Jerez because cooler conditions seem to favour the Honda package a bit more, and traditionally the weather in Le Mans is known for being pretty cool.”
“The biggest priority for me is to feel good again on the bike and confirm that I am getting stronger in MotoGP. The result is obviously important but more than anything my priority is to be consistently fast and have a good rhythm for the whole weekend. I picked up many things during the recent test in Jerez, especially with my lines. I followed Marc and Dani and I can see their lines and how they get the best from the bike. I will try some different lines in Le Mans and I feel ready and better prepared than ever. I will give my 100% like always and hope that means we can return to the points again.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“We head to Le Mans after a positive post race test in Jerez. Jack wasn’t hampered at all by his inured right ankle and the additional physiotherapy he’s done since then should mean he’s in even better physical condition this weekend. The test was also an important one for Tito, who made a big improvement in both his lap time and his understanding of the Honda RC213V. We go to Le Mans looking for another race finish for both riders, but this time in the points.”