Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
Team Estrella Galicia 00 Marc VDS MotoGP team, GP of Qatar Free Practice
Mixed fortunes for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS on opening day in Qatar
Losail, Qatar – 18 March 2016: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat have completed a busy first free practice session in advance of the season opening Qatar Grand Prix.
Both Miller and Rabat will be making their first MotoGP appearances for the team aboard a pair of Honda RC213Vs in Sunday’s race.
Miller, 21, is entering his second season in the premier class while 2014 Moto2 World Champion Rabat is a MotoGP rookie.
While Miller is still recovering from fractures to his lower right leg suffered in a pre-season motocross accident the 21-year-old Australian is feeling much more comfortable on the predominantly right-hand Losail Circuit.
Despite his injury delayed start to the season Miller is happy with his progress and finished the opening session 14th with a time of 1’56.939.
Rabat’s focus is to find a confidence-inspiring set up for his Honda RC213V after a bruising series of front-end crashes during the pre-season test in Qatar. He did not push for a lap time today and finished 20th.
Track conditions were less than ideal after heavy rain showers hit the Losail circuit the day prior to the first free practice session.
Jack Miller: 14th – 1’56.939
“I am feeling better on the bike with my right leg compared to the test here two weeks ago but I’m still not satisfied, I want to be closer to the front. But we have made some positive steps in the set up to find a direction that should be good for qualifying and the race. I need to get the front-end more stable and have the confidence to push for faster times. The track was a little bit dirty from the rain yesterday and it was windy but overall a good start to the weekend.”
Tito Rabat : 20th – 1’57.916
“We tried a different direction from the test but I still lack confidence on the front, I feel I am always on the limit. We made some big changes but we need to look at some different set up options for tomorrow. At the moment it makes no sense to push and have another crash, we still have two more sessions and plenty of time to find some solutions.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was difficult session for Tito because we made some big changes to the bike, we needed to do something after his crashes during the test here. He feels he is sitting too much over the bike and we will make some more adjustments for this tomorrow but we made some positive steps. For Jack it was a nice practice session and he is not that far behind the other Honda riders. He did a good job considering he is not yet 100% fit so we are yet to see his full potential.”