Rain hit qualifying for Miller and Rabat in Malaysia
A tropical downpour made track conditions treacherous for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The 5.5km Sepang International Circuit remained wet for the first qualifying session even though the rain had stopped, with Miller setting the 14th fastest time on his final flying lap.
Earlier the monsoon conditions had forced race officials to delay the FP4 and qualifying sessions.
Rain master Miller was impressively sixth on the timesheets in FP4 in full wet conditions with expectations he could progress through to the top 12 shootout in Q1.
However Miller was handicapped by a less than ideal set-up on his Honda RC213V and was disappointed to miss moving into Q2 by just 0.023s.
The Australian will start from the fifth row in tomorrow’s 20-lap race, round 17 of the MotoGP World Championship.
The rain only added to the challenge for Spanish rookie Rabat, who bravely faced the tricky and confidence-sapping conditions. He will start 21st on the grid tomorrow.
Jack Miller: 14th – 2'12.907
“It was a little disappointing, I pushed really hard but I struggled with the bike. We tried adjusting the set-up and the big problem is traction control coming onto the fast straights here, it was cutting the power too much. But I’m looking forward to the race and hopefully we can sort out the settings for both the dry and the wet and be ready for whatever the weather throws at us tomorrow.”
Tito Rabat: 21st – 2'15.894
“It has been a very difficult weekend so far and I am very disappointed to be in this position given that when the track was dry I was feeling much better. I have to try something to improve when the conditions are wet and slippery and hopefully I can do this in the race tomorrow.“
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“I was expecting that Jack could move up into the second qualifying session but it appears that he was held back by the set-up that was chosen for his bike. This probably cost him any chance to go faster but we know how strong he can be if the race is wet. For Tito we understand that if it is not full wet or full dry he struggles in mixed conditions with little confidence in his riding or the tyres. Qualifying was a little frustrating for him given his performance in the earlier sessions.”