Miller set for Spielberg showdown
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller will target a points scoring finish in the Austrian Grand Prix starting from 19th on the grid for Sunday’s MotoGP race.
Miller’s flying lap of 1’24.321 was his fastest of the weekend so far, a 0.4s improvement on his best time in the morning FP3 session.
Despite working to improve corner exit acceleration on the 10-turn 4.31km circuit Miller is still not happy with his race package on track featuring heavy uphill braking zones and brutal, low gear acceleration.
The Spielberg layout makes for a tricky set-up balance and team technicians have tried many options in a bid to boost the points scoring chances for Miller and Rabat in tomorrow’s 28-lap race.
The circuit has proved to be a big challenge for the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders, who both anticipated it would not be easy to adapt the Honda RC213V to this circuit.
While the weather for the QP1 session was overcast but dry the conditions did not help Tito Rabat overcome the special demands of the Austrian venue.
Rabat will start 24th on the last row of the grid after being uncertain of optimal tyre choice for the qualifying session with the Spaniard electing to concentrate on race set-up rather than a time attack.
Jack Miller: 19th – 1’24.321
“My lap was pretty good and could have been even better if I had put it all together on my final run and I’m reasonably happy. Of course I always want to be closer to the front so now I just need to focus on the race and go for the best result possible. This always this was going be a difficult track for us, especially the struggle with wheelie and acceleration, but we've improved step-by-step, even if it has been a case of too little too late.”
Tito Rabat: 24th – 1’24.900
“It was difficult qualifying session. In FP4 I did a very good job at the end of the session on a soft tyre and maybe this created some confusion because in FP3 I preferred the medium rear tyre. The soft tyre takes time to warm-up so for Q1 I just stayed out and did ten laps with a best time of 1’24.9. I know this is not normal for qualifying but it was better for me to work on my rhythm for the race.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“This has been a really difficult weekend for our team. At this track last year before Jack crashed here and injured his back he had a really good pace at this track so it is not easy to understand the difference at this moment. The answers are not clear and it is the first time this season that I don’t really understand what is behind our performance. Both riders are struggling to adapt the bike to this circuit and it's not clear why. This we need to figure out tonight so that we can put a plan in place for tomorrow's race.”