An embarrassed Jack Miller has laughed off getting black flagged out of yesterday’s free practice one session for the Catalan Grand Prix, after the Marc VDS rider forgot about changes to the circuit layout and repeatedly used the old layout at the final corner and not the new design introduced for 2016.
The newly modified chicane turns in a handful of metres closer to the previous corner – but the Australian admitted that in the heat of the moment he forgot about the changes and reverted to the Formula One layout used last year.
“I was just in the zone, went out with slick tyres, and my main focus was just to try and work the temperature into the tyres! I was out yesterday afternoon with the boys to walk the track and we even stood and looked at the different lines through the new chicane – and then I had a complete mind block!
“Marc and Cal came past me waving, but I had already seen that I was being black flagged and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I was looking like the bike like it was leaking oil and Cal and Marc were tapping the back of their bikes and I was thinking ‘that’s not normal, normally they don’t want me to follow them!’ Then it all sort of hit me when I got to turn twelve and saw where they were going!”
However, Miller may have got the last laugh (and some extra practice!) after the MotoGP riders’ safety commission elected to revert to the 2016 layout that he used last night. The new chicane, tight and slow, was deemed as more unsafe than the F1 layout because of it’s propensity to cause crashed bikes to fall on the racing line.