Miller withdraws with foot injury while Rabat qualifies 20th
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller has been forced to withdraw from Sunday's Grand of the Americas because of an injury to his right foot.
Miller's brave bid to overcome the pain and discomfort ended after just three laps in today's FP4 session and he did not participate in qualifying.
Miller's Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS teammate Tito Rabat will start from 20th position in his first MotoGP race at the 5.5 km Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
Despite intensive physiotherapy and a pain killing injection the team decided that the safest option was to allow the 21-year-old Australian to concentrate on being fit for the next race at Jerez in Spain.
Overnight X-rays revealed Miller broke the 5th metatarsal in his right foot when he crashed in FP1 on Friday.
The heavy fall also bruised his right ankle, which he injured in a pre-season motocross crash although fortunately there was no further damage to those earlier fractures.
The 20-turn COTA circuit is one of the most demanding on the calendar and
MotoGP rookie Rabat continued to struggle in maximising rear grip under acceleration
Jack Miller: Withdrawn
“This is a really physically demanding track and with every lap the pain just got worse so in the interests of safety it is better to give this race a miss. We tried all the options with physiotherapy and a pain killing injection for FP4 but it didn't work. I'm sorry for the team but this is racing and now I just want to be fit for the next race in Jerez. It's unlucky but I've learnt a lesson from pushing too hard on a cold tyre in practice. The most pain is coming from my ankle, one of the screws in the plates from the earlier injury maybe moved a little bit when my foot hit the track.”
Tito Rabat: 20th – 2'06.562
“I am improving with every session and I go faster but the main problem is putting power onto the track and keeping stability on the bike under acceleration. In the chicanes and change of direction I feel good. But I lose time when I open the throttle and there are four corners like this and I don't want to push harder and risk a crash for nothing. I can see what the other riders are doing and I need some help from the set-up and the bike to be faster.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It is disappointing Jack cannot race here, we need him in the team. It is more difficult to go into the race with just one rider. But our priority is Jack's health for the rest of the season as there are still 15 races to go. The best decision is for Jack to recuperate and be ready for the next race in Jerez. For Tito it is has been difficult weekend to find a comfortable set-up on his first outing at this circuit so I expect it will not be an easy race for him.”