Precision performance from Miller in Valencia
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller was precision personified in Valencia today when he set the exact same lap time in both MotoGP practice sessions.
The Australian’s consistency was a key factor in him mounting a terrific challenge for the top three in both FP1 and FP2, which took place under gloriously sunny autumnal skies at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.
Miller excelled in chilly conditions this morning when track temperatures didn’t even break into double figures to set a lap of 1’31.357 that was only beaten by a late soft tyre attack by Andrea Iannone.
Unfazed by a small crash in turn six in the closing stages of FP1, Miller set an identical lap of 1’31.357 in perfect conditions to end FP2 in a strong sixth position while he concentrated on endurance runs for fuel consumption analysis ahead of Sunday’s 30-lap season finale.
Spaniard Tito Rabat also enjoyed a positive start to proceedings in his farewell appearance for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS when he lapped within touching distance of the top 10.
Rabat could circulate the 4.005km track consistently in the high 1.31 bracket in FP2 and he ended an encouraging opening day with the 19th fastest time on the combined standings.
Jack Miller: 7th – 1’31.357
“I had a really good performance this morning apart from the small crash at the end of FP1. I just pushed a bit hard into turn six while we were working on improving the mapping. I was having a bit of wheelie in between turns five and six and I maybe got off the gas a bit too late and by the time the front wheel came down I was completely off the line. I stayed committed to try and keep the lap going but the front tyre went from underneath me. But I’m happy with my pace in both sessions and I think I could have gone quicker at the end had it not been for a bit of traffic. My ideal time would have put me very close to the top three, so I can’t complain too much and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend. It was important to be in the top 10 just in case there is an issue with the weather tomorrow morning but we will have to be careful because it can be very cold in the morning session and that can make it very tricky.”
Tito Rabat: 19th – 1’31.958
“I am very happy with how today went because I was able to lap in a very constant rhythm. I am particularly happy that I did all my laps on my own without following anybody and I kept my pace all the time in the high 1.31s and low 1.32s. This is very positive for me and the important thing now will be building on this start for the remainder of the weekend, so I can end my time with Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS on a high note.”
Ramon Aurin: Jack Miller Chief Engineer
“This morning’s cool conditions meant it was a tricky start because it can be difficult to bring the tyres and brakes up to temperature. It was a good start to be in the top three, despite the crash. We were happy with our pace on the medium rear tyre and to be honest Jack can’t feel a big difference to the soft. Maybe the soft in these conditions overheats a little bit faster and then you lose a bit of performance. This circuit is also critical for fuel consumption when you are on and off the throttle so much, so we will focus on that area as well to be as best prepared for the race as we can be.”