Miller makes light work of mixed conditions in Aragon
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller overcame tricky mixed conditions to deliver two brilliantly mature and measured MotoGP practice sessions in Motorland Aragon today.
Preparations for Sunday’s 23-lap encounter were badly disrupted by rain showers that fell just as both FP1 and FP2 were about to commence at the 5.078km venue.
Miller has often proven to be a master of mixed conditions and today was no exception, with the Australian in superb form on a rapidly drying track this morning to finish less than 0.1s outside of the top three on his Honda RC213V machine.
Miller’s outstanding display this morning meant he was full of confidence heading into the second session. But when rain fell heavily to soak Motorland Aragon again right at the moment the pit exit was opened, Miller decided to play a patient game and he waited until the final third of FP2 when conditions had improved sufficiently to venture out on track.
Miller quickly calculated where he could attack on a surface littered with treacherous damp patches and a best lap of 2.01.149 placed him just over 0.5s away from the top four again.
The mixed conditions meant Tito Rabat wasn’t willing to take any unnecessary risks, with weather forecasts predicting dry weather for the remainder of the weekend.
The Spaniard gradually built up his confidence in both sessions and at the end of the day he was happy to drop his pace down to a respectable 2.03.392, which was close to the best pace of rain specialist Danilo Petrucci.
Jack Miller: 12th – 2’01.149
“It’s been a strange day for us today because it was wet this morning and starting to dry out towards the end of FP1. There was a small dry line where you could push a little bit harder but we couldn’t run anything like the pace we’d normally see on a fully dry surface. I feel like I’ve got a strong pace in full wet conditions and I’m happy with my pace on a drying track on rain tyres too. All in all, it was a pretty positive day but I think we can expect a pretty hectic FP3 tomorrow morning with everybody attacking for the top 10. It should be fun and I hope to be in the mix.”
Tito Rabat: 22nd – 2’02.392
“Today the conditions were very difficult and it is never easy to understand how much you can push when the track is half wet and half dry. I was just working on improving my confidence without taking any big risks and the plan worked out well. I don’t really like it so much when the conditions are like this, especially when it looks like the race is going to be run in the dry. I still had some fun, even though it was not possible to go any faster. We will see what tomorrow brings but I hope we get some stable weather because today we lost a day to focus on the race setting.”
Stefan Prein: Rider Coach
“It has not been the easiest conditions for Jack and Tito to contend with today. It was mixed in both sessions with the rain playing a big part. When it is half wet and half dry then the biggest issue is the rear tyre overheating on a drying track and that’s exactly what started to happen. For safety, they both decided to stay out on Michelin’s rain tyres, but if those conditions were in qualifying and you had to take a few risks to get a good grid position then it might be worth gambling on running a slick. They both did a good job though and avoided any mistakes, which is the most important thing to do when the conditions are so tricky.”