Miller primed for strong race in Brno
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller will open the second half of the MotoGP season starting 15th on the grid for Sunday’s Czech Republic Grand Prix.
In a fiercely competitive Q1 session in baking hot weather conditions Miller missed progressing to the Q2 session by just one tenth of a second.
Miller’s qualifying time of 1’56.543 was three tenths faster than his best in the morning FP3 session.
The Australian rider is primed for a strong showing in the 22-lap race as he continues his transition back to MotoGP after racing a Honda superbike in the Suzuka Eight-Hours.
The switch back to Michelin tyres and the Honda RC213V MotoGP bike has seen Miller struggle with front-end feel through the fast curves of the stadium section of the 5.4 km Brno Circuit.
Miller missed this race through injury in 2016 and lost crucial dry track set-up time with the wet conditions of Friday morning’s FP1 session.
Track temperatures soared to 48 degrees during a sun soaked qualifying session.
Tito Rabat will start 21st for the tenth round of the MotoGP World Championship. The Spaniard struggled for confidence and his best pace in the hot conditions.
Jack Miller: 15th – 1’56.543
“The fifth row of the grid is not ideal but I’ve started further back and had a strong race so I’m up for the challenge. Just one tenth of a second would have got me into Q2 but that’s racing. My race pace is pretty good and I am just working to get my rhythm back on the MotoGP bike after racing the superbike. It’s good to be back in MotoGP and race day is what counts so I’m looking forward to it.”
Tito Rabat: 21st – 1’57.288
“In FP4 we worked on a set-up using the hard rear tyre because of the hot conditions and this will be valuable information in case the conditions are the same for the race. But then in qualifying I made a small mistake in my first run and could not improve riding alone for my final time attack. So not an easy session but I will be pushing to score points in the race and if the weather is cooler this will be OK for me too.”
Michael Bartholemy – Team Principal
“It is a little disappointing for Jack who missed by one tenth of a second going through into Q2. After his performance in the morning FP3 session it looked like he had the potential to do this. But for sure it has not been easy for Jack to come back to find the rhythm with the Michelin tyre after racing in the Suzuka Eight-Hours. And we know Tito is not at his best riding alone for a fast time so overall not the results we expected.”