Miller primed for hot and fast race in Barcelona
In heat wave conditions Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Jack Miller qualified fifteenth for Sunday’s seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship in Barcelona.
A repeat of the energy sapping weather and scorching hot track temperatures, which topped 50 degrees for qualifying, are forecast for the 25-lap race.
This will place a premium on tyre endurance and much of Miller’s work with his crew today focussed on race set-up on his Honda RC213V, especially to boost front-end feel.
Miller set a platform for a strong race with the tenth fastest time in race trim during the FP4 session in advance of qualifying. Miller’s qualifying lap of 1’44.829 was almost 1.5s faster than his FP4 time as he focussed on maximising the potential of the new Michelin front tyre.
Tito Rabat is focussing on continuing his recent string of strong races despite being disappointed with his performance to qualify 19th on the grid. Rabat finished 11th in both the Italian and French Grands Prix.
For qualifying and tomorrow’s race the final chicane at the 4.655km Barcelona Circuit has been changed back to the layout used for Formula One, after safety concerns were raised by riders with the revised chicane used for Friday practice.
Jack Miller: 15th – 1’44.829
“I feel better on the bike than I did in Mugello last weekend and I'm getting to grips with this new front tyre and making progress in every session to adapt the set-up. It is not an ideal situation because I missed the test here a couple weeks ago. I would rather be further up the grid but there are positives with my race pace and the key will be managing the tyre life, the performance drops quite a lot after just a few laps in these hot conditions.”
Tito Rabat: 19th – 1’45.741
“I am very disappointed with my qualifying result, I tried so much to be faster but it was impossible. I felt comfortable on the bike but I made a mistake to wait for a rider to go for a faster time so, I didn’t achieve my full potential. Now I will now focus on the race and try to score points as I have in the past two races.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Similar to Mugello last weekend we are struggling to find the ideal set-up for Jack at this track in the hot conditions, but things improved with his front feeling in qualifying and FP4 this afternoon. This is important for the race distance tomorrow. With Tito we know if he has someone to follow it is easier for him but he was alone for his second qualifying run. I am confident that Jack can fight for the top ten and Tito can score points in the race.”