MotoGP GP of Spain – Circuito Angel Nieto
Tito Rabat and Xavier Simeon started their preparation for the Spanish Grand Prix at the renamed Angel Nieto Circuit of Jerez today, with the first two free practice sessions in the MotoGP category. The Jerez weekend is the first home Grand Prix for Reale Avintia Racing, and the first European round of the Championship.
After his great start of the season, Tito Rabat arrived at Jerez highly motivated. Even though it didn’t reflect in the time sheets, he had a positive first day, working very efficiently towards the race on Sunday. He already knows which tyre combination to use and he is also sure about the set-up of his Ducati, so he can concentrate now on improving his lap times in qualifying and battling for a good position on the starting grid.
Teammate Xavi Simeon also had a good day. The MotoGP rookie had very good feelings with the bike from his first exit and his race pace was strong. He was not able to get the maximum from the soft rear Michelin tyre, but he is still confident for Saturday and hopes to improve his grid position for the race.
Tito Rabat | 1’39.888 | P18
“It was a difficult day, but a positive one nevertheless. We tried all the tyre options available and also different settings on the bike. It was clear that the track conditions were completely different in comparison to when we tested here at the end of last year, so knew in advance that it was going to be difficult, but we are not too far away. Let’s see if I can improve my lap times in FP3 and then make another step in qualifying, so I can start the race in a good position. I’m quite confident for the race as we know which tyre to use. The feeling with the bike is very different from the test in November, but it’s the same for everybody.”
“Today the feeling was much better than in Austin. We had a good pace from the beginning. I finished last, but not so far from the riders in the top ten, which shows that we did improve. At the end I was not able to get the maximum out of the soft tyre, it felt as if I had too much grip and I was not able to get the bike to slide. I didn’t get the best out of the tyre, but the fact that my feeling with the bike was good is more important. I feel better and I can push harder. Tomorrow we will try to do a good FP3 and get close to the top 15 in qualifying.”