Solid start for Miller and Rabat in Qatar
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat made a solid start to the third and final MotoGP preseason test at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar today.
Miller ended 14th on the timesheet with a time of 1'56.017, which put him just over a second off the fastest time of the opening day, set by Andrea Dovizioso.
Rabat, who was riding for the first time since sustaining injuries in a testing crash in Sepang at the beginning of February, ended the day 21st on the timesheet with a time of 1'57.455.
Both Team Estrella Galicia riders were testing today with the latest specification engine from Honda for the first time. Their initial impression was positive, but both felt that they needed more time to refine their respective set ups to better suit the characteristics of the revised engine.
Jack Miller: 14th – 1'56.017
“Today was like it always is the first day in Qatar; we spent most of the first session sweeping the track. Even so, every time I went out on the bike I felt faster and I ended the day with a quicker lap time than I've posted here before. But we still have room for improvement. I'm not completely happy with how the bike is working at the moment, but that's a combination of the dirty track and getting a feel for the latest spec engine we're using for the first time here. We made some steps today, but tomorrow we need to make even more. At the moment we're getting a little chatter in some corners and the bike is a touch nervous, so it won't always hold the line. At this track that's crucial because if you go offline then you're onto the really dirty part of the circuit, so that's something we need to work on tomorrow. But, overall, a positive first day here in Qatar.”
Tito Rabat: 21st – 1'57.455
“After being off the bike so long the feeling at the beginning today was a little strange and it took some laps to get used to the speed again. But with more laps came more confidence and I was happy to prove I was fit enough to test the bike. There is some pain from the knee when changing direction through turns eight and nine, as well as through nine and ten, but it's manageable. We kept the runs short, didn't push for a fast lap and instead just focussed on finding a good feeling with the bike. Of course I'm not so happy with the position on the timesheet, but I'm happy to finish the first day on the bike with no issues and, more importantly, no crashes. Tomorrow we will continue in the same way, to build the confidence and to push without crashing.”