Miller’s courageous comeback continues at Phillip Island
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller equalled his career best MotoGP qualifying performance with a stunning fifth fastest time in qualifying for his home race at Phillip Island.
Miller openly declares his love affair with the fast and sweeping 4.4km seaside circuit where speeds reach 335kph.
This second row starting spot mirrors his qualifying performance at this race in 2016 when he finished tenth in the race.
But the gritty Australia is determined to deliver a much better result in this year’s 27-lap race, which is round 16 of the MotoGP World Championship..
Showing no loss of speed despite riding with a plate and eight screws in his right leg Miller has made a courageous comeback from a training injury suffered just three weeks ago.
Miller will roll onto the grid tomorrow just 23 days after fracturing his right tibia.
In both the wet and dry conditions during practice and qualifying Miller has been smooth and fast aboard his Honda RC213V and is confident that he will have the stamina to go the race distance at full speed.
Miller’s practice pace put him directly into the Q2 qualifying session and he secured fifth on the grid with a time of 1’28.964, which was just 0.5s off the pole position time set by Marc Marquez.
In the Q1 session Tito Rabat ran his fastest laps of the weekend so far to secure 14th on the grid, having made a dramatic improvement with his speed and set-up from Friday’s opening free practice sessions.
Jack Miller: 5th – 1’28.964
“I am really happy with my condition and feeling on the bike just three weeks after my injury. I love Phillip Island so it is really cool to be going fast at my home track. Fifth place is a good spot for me in the race and I’m hoping to make a strong start and hook-up with the top group, I feel I have the race pace to do that. Once I’m on the bike my leg is not giving me any trouble and I think it will be good for the race, I’m ready to go.”
Tito Rabat: 14th – 1’29.847
“I feel really positive about this qualifying because I made a really good improvement over Friday practice, not just my lap time but my rhythm for the race. My target was to do a 1’29 lap so I am happy to achieve that and this will be good position to challenge for a strong result and some good points in the race.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Considering his injury this was a very good qualifying performance by Jack, who set his fastest lap on his first time attack with a new tyre. Starting fifth at his home track gives him the opportunity for a strong race and we are very happy to have him back in the team after missing him in Japan last weekend. And Tito showed a good step forward to qualify 14th, he has the potential to chase down some good points in the race.”