Miller and Rabat set for the challenge of Le Mans
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda rider Jack Miller is hoping to use his solid race pace and a good start to challenge for a points in tomorrow's French Grand Prix.
The 21-year-old Australian has qualified 18th for the 28 lap race at the legendary Le Mans circuit.
The heavy braking and brutal acceleration of the Le Mans layout has not been easy for Miller who is still troubled by a pre-season right ankle injury.
But he is boosted by his race pace despite failing to make the most of his final run in today's qualifying session. Miller's fast time of 1'34.049 on his Honda RC213V was 1.5s quicker than the FP1 session on Friday morning.
Spanish rookie Rabat has made impressive progress over two days of practice and qualifying and will start 20th despite being slowed on his final qualifying lap by another rider.
Rabat's best time improved by almost two seconds as he came to grips with the demanding Le Mans circuit to post a qualifying time of 1'34.348.
Sunday's race is the fifth round of the MotoGP championship with a capacity crowd of over 100,000 fans expected at the 4.2km Bugatti circuit.
Jack Miller: 18th – 1'34.049
“In qualifying I struggled to warm the tyre up and wasn't able to do a flying lap straightaway and then I ran out of time at the end of the session. I'm quite happy with my race pace and looking forward to making a strong start and seeing what I can do and fight for some points.”
Tito Rabat: 20th – 1'34.348
“My first qualifying run was very good and I was happy with this for my first time in MotoGP at Le Mans. On the second run I tried to go faster and had a clear track but then came across some traffic that slowed my rhythm. Sometimes this can happen so now I am just focussing on a strong race and making up some positions.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Le Mans is a difficult track especially for Jack as he is still suffering with the condition of his right ankle but we know he is always ready to race hard on Sunday. I thought after practice that for Tito this could one of his best qualifying sessions and he did a good job on his first run but could not improve on the second new tyre so it was a little disappointing to see him drop down to 20th.”