MotoGP Thai Test – Chang International Circuit

Reale Avintia Racing Team riders Tito Rabat and Xavier Simeon had their first contact with the Chang International Circuit today. The layout of the Thai track, that has been added to the MotoGP calendar for the 2018 season, looks easy on paper, with few turns and many straights, but Rabat and Simeon agreed that the circuit is much more tricky than it seems at first sight.
Tito Rabat started quite well but at mid-morning, he lost the front in turn seven and crashed, a very similar incident to the two falls he had a couple of weeks ago in Malaysia. After repairing the bike he went back on the track and, after changing the set-up of his Ducati in search of a better feeling with the front, he focused on finding his own pace with very good results.
His teammate Xavi Simeon continued with his learning process and found himself quite comfortable around the 4.554km circuit. The 28-year-old Belgian rider also crashed in turn ten, which forced him to sit and wait in the garage until his bike was ready to go again. After going back on track again, he quickly matched his best lap times from the morning.

“I like the circuit and I had a lot fun. It has several parts that reminded me of Qatar, others of Texas… it has some long straights and the asphalt is okay, although at the beginning of the day it was a little bit dirty. But the first impression was very good. The only negative thing to report is my crash and, as in Malaysia, we do not know why. Despite this setback, it seems that we are finding the right way, which is important because we need to know our limit in order to finish the races. We focused on improving the feeling with the front and with some changes to the set-up, I had a better feeling. The team worked very well and everything is very tight with 20 riders within just one second. Now we need to improve further. We always finish 0.7s behind, so it would be great if we could leave Thailand with a gap of only half a second”.

“The first day here in Thailand went very well until I crashed at turn 10 when I lost the front. The crash was a little strange, I just made a small mistake… but afterwards we lost a lot of time because the bike was quite damaged. In the end I went out again and I could do five laps to try to improve my lap times. Even though I was not able to improve, I was able to match my previous lap times quite easy, which was positive. Tomorrow, we’ll start from where we finished today and we’ll try to improve more. We are not far away, but we have to avoid these little mistakes. The standings are very tight and you have to make the most of the time on the track”.