Positive post-season Valencia test for Miller and Rabat
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS MotoGP riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat head into the winter break with confidence renewed, after a successful two day test at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.
Both riders spent the two days evaluating a new chassis on their Honda RC213V machines, as well as a revised configuration of the unified software. Miller felt an immediate improvement, posting a fastest lap of 1'31.477 to finish the opening day 11th on the timesheet and just 0.547s off the fastest time of the day, set by Maverick Viñales.
The Australian continued to improve on the second and final day of testing, posting a time of 1'31.069, despite a minor fall at turn one. The test also provided Miller with his first opportunity to work with new Chief Engineer Ramon Aurin, who joins Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS for the 2017 season.
Rabat was similarly impressed with the improvements offered by the latest chassis and electronics configuration, which restored some of the front end feeling that the former Moto2 World Champion has missed since starting his rookie season in the premier class.
The Spaniard ended the opening day 18th with a time of 1'32.578, but more track time to adapt to the revised Honda RC213V on the second day allowed Rabat to improve on this time by over half a second. It was a massive confidence boost for the MotoGP Rookie, after a difficult second half to the season.
Like his Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS teammate, Rabat was working for the first time with new crewmembers on his side of the pit box, including new Chief Engineer Diego Gubellini.
Jack Miller: 12th – 1'31.069
“During both days of the test I was enjoying riding the bike more and more each time I went out on it and that hasn't always been the case this season because we've been struggling to overcome problems and to build confidence. Such a positive test here at Valencia has allowed us to start rebuilding some of the confidence lost and it's a positive way to end the season and head into the winter break. It also provides a good base from which to work from when we return to testing in Sepang early next year.”
Tito Rabat: 18th – 1'31.918
“I'm really happy after these two days with the new chassis, which brought some big improvements for me, but also with my new crew who are really working well together to get the bike working better for me. In terms of the lap times I made my best time alone and was able to repeat it consistently, which has been something I haven't been able to do before this season. Of course, there is still a lot of work to do when we resume testing next year, but the importance of going into the winter break with confidence cannot be underestimated and this test has restored a lot of the confidence that a difficult season had robbed me of. Overall I couldn't be happier with the significant step forward made here in Valencia.
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“The Valencia test was the best way to end what has at times been a very difficult season. The new chassis and the revised electronics package brought big improvements for both riders, not just in the lap times, which were significantly quicker and more consistent than during the race weekend, but also to team morale. Tuesday was the first time this season that I've walked into the pit box and seen both riders happy, and that's an important step forward, equal to the steps made with the bike. It's a perfect way for the riders to head into the winter break, as it means they focus on the positive from now until we resume testing in Sepang next year. The test also saw many new people join the team and, after just two days, I can say that I believe we made the right choices in terms of our technical staff too.”