The Spielberg track is new to the calendar this season and two days of perfect testing weather allowed Miller and Rabat ample time to get to know the characteristics of the 4.318km circuit, which features seven right and three left corners and constant changes of elevation.
While the circuit was completely new to Rabat, Miller is one of only two MotoGP riders with previous experience of Spielberg, having raced here aboard a 125cc machine in the German Championship back in 2011.
The two days in Austria provided an ideal opportunity for Miller to catch up on the testing he missed at the start of the season due to injury. The Australian took advantage of the perfect weather conditions to rack up 151 laps, as he worked to evaluate a number of different settings and to further refine the set up of his Honda RC213V.
As well as trying to discover the secrets to a fast lap on an unfamiliar track Rabat also focussed on refining both his riding style and the set up on his Honda RC213V to allow him to maximise the performance of the Michelin tyres.
The former Moto2 World Champion set his fastest time of the test during the final session, after finding a solution to the lack of front-end feeling that has caused him so many issues this season. As a result Rabat heads into the summer break with renewed confidence and looking forward to the second half of the season.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS will return to Austria in August to get the second half of the 2016 underway.
Jack Miller: 151 Laps – 1’24.555
“The track here is good and I’ve really enjoyed riding it the last two days. This test was really important for us after missing so many tests at the start of the season. It was great just to get a whole heap of dry laps in where I could just go out and ride the bike, which I really enjoyed. It was a lot of fun. Yesterday we managed to make some improvements with the set up and we’ve built on that today, finding a bit more speed but also I feel more comfortable on the bike now. We’ve got a little break now, but I’m looking forward to getting back here next month to get the second half of the season underway.”
Tito Rabat: 221 Laps – 1’24.760
“It’s been a long two days with a heavy workload, both for me and the team, but it’s also been a very successful test. Now we understand better how to make the front tyre work for us and, finally, I have the feeling with the front end that I need and that’s a big boost to my confidence after a couple of difficult races. My understanding of how the bike and tyres work has improved and the team have made a step forward with the settings needed to get the best from both, so it’s been very positive for me. Now I am looking forward to some time away from the track to reflect on the first half of the season, before returning fresh to start the second half.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Jack is riding high on confidence after his win at Assen and a good race at the Sachsenring. This confidence has been boosted further after he made a step forward with the set up of his Honda RC213V during these two days in Austria. It means he goes into the summer break in a strong frame of mind and I’m sure we’ll see a fired up Jack when he returns here to get the second half of the season underway in August. The test was also positive for Tito. Once again he’s increased his understanding of the bike and tyres, as well as learning just a little bit more about how to get the best from them. I know his expectations are high, which frustrates him sometimes, but he should be happy with the progress he’s made since the start of the year. I think we will see further big improvements from him in the second half of the season.”