Rabat and Miller show fighting spirit in Silverstone
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Tito Rabat and Jack Miller showed their battling qualities in a difficult British Grand Prix at Silverstone this afternoon.
The race was shortened by one-lap from 20 to 19 following an early red flag that resulted from a big crash involving Loris Baz and Pol Espargaro.
Tyre choice for the race was something of a gamble after so much track time this weekend was lost due to cold and wet conditions in yesterday’s practice and qualifying sessions.
Spaniard Rabat opted to race the hard front Michelin tyre and the medium compound rear and he was able to maintain a constant pace throughout the race to claim a hard fought 15th place after a close battle with Alex Lowes and Hector Barbera.
Rabat was pleased to salvage a point scoring finish from a difficult weekend and he is now looking forward to tackling one of his favourite tracks in Misano next weekend.
Round 12 of the World Championship proved to be a complicated affair for Australian Miller, who battled pain and a lack of strength in his injured right hand and fast fading rear grip from his medium compound rear tyre selection.
An aggressive start from the 21-year-old moved him into the top 10 on the third lap, but he was unable to maintain his startling early pace and he dropped back through the field to finish just outside the points.
Despite his physical issues and a lack of rear grip in the second half of the race, Miller rode sensibly to bring his Honda RC213V home to the chequered flag to gain crucial seat time ahead of next weekend’s battle at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Tito Rabat: 15th
“This weekend has been one of the most difficult of my career. I have found it very difficult to go fast at this fast and technical track but as always I will look to take the positives out of it and I finished the last three races in the points. I felt we have made some progress when it was not easy to do so with all the changeable weather and now I go to Misano looking forward to being more competitive. It is one of my favourite tracks and my goal will be to finish inside the points again.”
Jack Miller: 16th
“Today’s race was a difficult one for me and the biggest issue I had was with the rear tyre. I had a really good start in both races and I felt really comfortable in the opening laps. But after about five laps I started to have some issues with grip on the right side of the rear tyre. I was just out there doing laps for the remainder of the race and making sure I didn’t take any risks to avoid crashing. It was impossible for me to fight with anybody and I was happy to get in 19 laps on the bike after a difficult time with injuries. But I am disappointed because I’m sure I could have picked up some important points today.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was a difficult weekend in every way here at Silverstone. Tito struggled to find a good feeling with the bike in practice and qualifying, while Jack was returning from injury and, while we knew the back was a problem, it turned out that he had an additional fracture in his hand that caused some issues. But even so, Jack was in a good position at the start of the race, but dropped back after having problems with the right hand side of the rear tyre. It was a shame he wasn't rewarded for his effort this weekend with points. Tito did score a point, and better one than nothing, but I hope both riders are in better condition when we arrive is Misano next week.”