Tough Qatar test for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Losail, Qatar – 4 March 2016: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders, Tito Rabat and Jack Miller, both endured a difficult three days under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit, where they were participating in the final MotoGP preseason test of 2016.
Rabat’s Qatar test got off to the worst possible start, with his confidence taking a big knock following a crash on the opening day, which came with no warning. His feeling with the bike improved a little on the second day, rebuilding some of the confidence lost, but the problems returned on the third and final day, with Rabat crashing three times as he tried to improve his lap time. The MotoGP rookie left Qatar 17th on the timesheet and looking for answers ahead of the first race of the season.
Miller also struggled with a lack of confidence in Qatar, specifically with a lack of feedback from the front tyre. Although he and his crew made some progress over the course of the three days, the Australian is aware that there is still a lot more work to be done in this area when he returns to Qatar for the first race of the season. The predominantly right hand Losail International Circuit also took its toll on Miller’s injured right leg, much more so than the mainly left hand Phillip Island.
Rabat and Miller will now head from Qatar to Madrid for the official launch of the Estrella Galicia 0,0 racing program, which takes place on Monday 7th March at the Casa Del Lector in Madrid’s Matadero complex, before heading back to Qatar to get the 2016 season well and truly underway.
Tito Rabat: 17th – 1’57.027
“The test in Qatar got off to a bad start with a big crash on day one, with no warning from the bike at all. On the second day I didn’t want to push too much and risk another big crash and the possibility of injuring myself, but the bike felt better. On the final day I started to build a bit more confidence and the lap time came quite easily, but as soon as I started to push, even just a little bit, I crashed again with no warning. The bike was telling me nothing; one minute I was upright and the next I was down. I don’t know what caused the change between day two and day three, but today was much more difficult. Now we need to work on some ideas to try when we return here for the race, because if we don’t find some improvements it will be an incredibly tough start to the season.”
Jack Miller: 19th – 1’57.046
“Qatar has certainly been a test for us, trying to get to grips with everything and also having to contend with all the right hand corners, which were hard on my injured foot. The injury is okay, still improving, but it definitely gave me a bit more grief here than at Phillip Island. It was also a difficult test in terms of the set up with the bike; I haven’t built up any confidence in the front tyre just yet and had a few moments just trying to stay on two wheels. We did find a few little things, but it’s still not where we want it to be and there is still some work to do. Hopefully we can find something between now and the first race so that we can come back here to Qatar a little bit stronger.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Of the three preseason tests we’ve completed so far this year, this one was the most difficult. Both riders struggled to find a good feeling with the bike and the tyres and that was reflected in the lap times. Tito’s confidence in particular took a knock with the big crash on the opening day and the three crashes today didn’t do anything to improve the situation. But it wasn’t just Tito, as Jack was also having very similar issues. I don’t think we were the only team having problems here in Qatar, but they were much bigger for us because of the relative inexperience of our two riders. It’s something we need to work on, and we need to do it quickly, because we’ll be back here in just two weeks to get the season underway.”