MotoGP GP of Austria – Spielberg
Reale Avintia Racing rider Tito Rabat scored a fantastic seventh place in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday. His team-mate Xavier Simeon shone again in wet conditions and will start from 19th place on the grid, his best starting position in this season so far.
Once again, the day started with rain and low temperatures at Spielberg. Rabat, who had his ticket for the Q2 top qualifying already secured, preferred to watch the FP3 from his garage, knowing that the qualifying would take place in dry conditions. His strategy worked out. With race settings, he had a great pace in FP4 and in the Q2, he scored an impressive seventh position.
In contrary to Rabat, Xavier Simeon took to the track in the wet. He clocked an amazing time and was fastest for a while, before dropping back to eleventh. In FP4, which took place in dry conditions, he was also higher up than usual. Keeping his spirit high despite a crash, he was fast again in Q1 and scored 19th place. On the starting grid for the race, he will be even higher up in 18th position, since Franco Morbidelli was penalised and lost three places in the time sheets.
“So far, we’ve had a good weekend. We were clever yesterday and pushed at the right moment to get into QP2. Today we had a really strong pace in FP4 and were competitive once again when it counted in qualifying. But obviously, the race is on Sunday. I hope to put the bad luck of our recent races behind me and to be able to fight for a good result, which we really need by now. We can’t prepare ourselves any better, we are trying everything possible and all we can do now is wait and see if we can battle for the result we deserve.”
“It was a good day and I had very good feelings with the bike, in the wet as much as in dry conditions. On a wet track in the morning, I felt comfortable and had a good rhythm. Later on in dry conditions, I also felt great and confident, but at the end of FP4, I had a crash. This didn’t dent my confidence for the qualifying though and despite the fact that I had to go out with my other bike, I clocked a fast time and achieved my best grid position of the year. I hope to be able to fight with the group in front of me tomorrow and to score my first points of the season.”