Mission accomplished for Miller and Rabat in Qatar
Losail, Qatar – 20 March 2016: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat accomplished their pre-race goal of finishing inside the points at the end of tonight’s MotoGP encounter at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
Racing Michelin tyres and the new unified software for the first time, Miller and Rabat gained crucial experience in the 22-lap race, with both overcoming a difficult practice and qualifying to finish 14th and 15th respectively.
Australian Miller was unfortunate to lose a hard fought and deserved 12th place when a small mistake on the final lap allowed Eugene Laverty and Alvaro Bautista through.
Miller was delighted though to pass a severe examination of his physical condition after completing a full race distance for the first time since injuring his right leg in a pre-season training accident.
Rabat gained precious experience on his Honda RC213V debut and a solid ride inside the top 15 has given him good reason to be optimistic of a stronger challenge when the World Championship resumes in Argentina on April 3.
Jack Miller: 14th
“I finished the race and learnt a lot, so that’s the main positive to take away from tonight. It is the first time I’ve done full race distance since my pre-season injury and my leg didn’t cause me any problems and I am really happy with my physical condition. I was having a good battle with Laverty and Bautista but I made a small mistake on the last lap that let them back through, so that was a shame. It was good experience and now we can look forward to Argentina where I had a strong result a year ago.
Tito Rabat: 15th
“It wasn’t an easy race but to finish inside the points gives us something to build on for the early part of the season. I’ve got to say a huge thanks to my crew because they have worked so hard in these last days to improve my confidence with the bike. The gap to the winner is bigger than we expected but this is all part of the learning process in what is the top class in the world. We gained a lot of experience and information here and I have a much better understanding of what I need to be faster. I will keep pushing with the same effort as always. Nobody said it was going to be easy but it is harder than I thought. We are here to learn and improve and I have no doubt I will do it.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“The race weekend here in Qatar and the pre-season has been a little complicated for us, so to see Jack and Tito both finish in the points is a good reward for their hard work and the dedication of the team. We need to improve and give them both a better feeling with the bike and the target in Argentina will be to start where they finished tonight, so we can see some clear progress. We have to be more competitive but I can’t fault the effort of Jack, Tito and the team. We all stay motivated and confident that stronger results will come.”