MotoGP GP of Austria – Spielberg
In the first free practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix, Reale Avintia Racing rider Tito Rabat surprised once again and is, for the time being, classified for the Q2 top qualifying session. In dry conditions, the Spaniard clocked a lap time of 1’24.676 which put him in eighth position in the combined standings for the day, since the second session in the afternoon took place in the wet. Rabat was 14th in the FP2, and his feeling with the Ducati Desmosedici keeps improving every time he goes out in the rain.
Team-mate Xavier Simeon also had a good opening day at Spielberg. The Belgian rider of Reale Avintia was 22nd in the morning and achieved competitive lap times. In the wet afternoon session, he didn’t ride very much, but six laps were enough for him to clock the 12th fastest time in the wet. Simeon was very surprised about the high level of grip in these conditions.
The FP3 will start at 9.55 h on Saturday, the FP4 at 13.30 h, followed by the qualification heats at 14.05 h
“It was a very positive day. We knew that it was going to rain in the afternoon, so we pushed in the FP1 and for the moment, we are in the Q2, which is our goal. It was a good strategy because there is a good chance that it will still be wet in FP3. I am happy with my rhythm this morning because we were able to continue in the same line as in Brno, where we were fast. In the afternoon we preferred to wait for a long time before going out in the wet, but then I did five good laps and I was surprised how fast I found my rhythm and how fast I got the right feeling. In the past, I have always been struggling in the wet, but with this motorcycle, my feeling in the wet improves from time to time. We are ready for whatever conditions we will face, but I hope it won’t rain tomorrow and for the rest of the weekend”.
“This morning, I found my rhythm immediately and things went much better than I expected. I felt very comfortable on the bike and I had a lot of confidence. But in the end, when I grabbed a new rear tyre, I was once again unable to get the maximum performance out of it and I couldn’t come up with the last bit of speed to break into the Top 15. But all in all, things went much better. In the afternoon, it was a nice surprise to discover how much grip this track has in the wet. Last year in Moto2, the track was really dangerous, but today it was fantastic. I only rode a few laps, but I enjoyed riding the bike in these conditions.”