Mixed fortunes for Miller and Rabat in Sachsenring qualifying
Summer finally greeted Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat for qualifying in advance of tomorrow's German Grand Prix.
Sunny and clear conditions saw track temperatures climb by more than 20 degrees compared to the cold, damp and windy conditions during Friday free practice.
On the back of his superb maiden MotoGP in Assen three weeks ago a relaxed and confident Miller qualified 16th on the fourth row.
The warmer conditions today were more suited to the new asymmetric Michelin front tyre introduced for the first time this season, resulting in a dramatic reduction in lap times.
Miller's qualifying time of 1'23.075 was four seconds faster than FP1 and he was disappointed to spoil his first qualifying run with a small mistake in the downhill section after Turn 11.
The convoluted Sachsenring track is where the 21-year-old Australian made his Grand Prix debut in the 125cc class in 2011.
Spaniard Rabat again suffered from the steep learning curve of his rookie MotoGP season and struggled to find the ideal set-up for his Honda RC213V.
Rabat will start 21st in the ninth race of the season, a 30-lapper that is typically tough for riders with a tight combination of 13-turns in the short 3.67km lap.
Jack Miller: 16th – 1'22.382
“Unfortunately on my first fast lap I made a small mistake at the bottom of the waterfall with a big shake down the hill into turn 12. I couldn't stop the bike in time and had to run through the gravel. But overall I'm feeling good about my pace; I did some solid laps in FP4 on used tyres so I think the race can be good for me. I feel confident banging out the times riding alone and all the left hand corners here make it easier for me with my right leg still not 100% recovered.”
Tito Rabat: 21st – 1'23.075
“I am very disappointed because I put in a big effort to prepare in the best way and do a good job in qualifying. I don't really understand what happened, perhaps my information about the bike set-up to my crew was not the best and I could not go any faster despite the better weather conditions. The main problem is that I had no feeling and confidence in the front-end.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was a solid performance from Jack in qualifying and he is a good frame of mind following his first MotoGP win at Assen. More important is his strong race pace across the free practice sessions and he clearly has the potential to score some nice points here. For Tito it has been difficult and he has the same feeling and comments about the bike that he had back at the first race in Qatar. He is not comfortable with the set-up so now we will analyse his comments and data to make it better for the race.”