MotoGP GP of Qatar – Losail International Circuit
Wind and sand played a starring role on the second day of practice for the Grand Prix of Qatar. Due to the conditions during FP3, it was very difficult for the Reale Avintia Racing riders to improve. But neither Tito Rabat nor Xavier Simeon threw the towel. Instead, they continued to work hard with their crews to be ready for the first race of the season.
The former Moto2 World Champion will rely on his race pace that should be strong enough to fight for the top ten in the first Grand Prix of the year. He has his mind set about the bike set-up and tyre choice and looks forward to his race debut with the Reale Avintia Racing and his Ducati GP17.
For ‘rookie’ Simeon the day went better than yesterday. He finished at the back of the grid again, but was very close to the riders in front of him. He also has the pace to be put up a fight and recover some places in the 22 lap-race tomorrow, his first ever race in the premier class.
“Today has been a difficult day for us, but were able to get really good conclusions for tomorrow’s race. After crashing during FP3, I lost my concentration a bit, but afterwards we managed to work well. In qualifying, we should have been some tenths of a second faster to achieve the position we hoped for. But we have found a good set-up for the bike and now it’s time to be focused for the race. The key to the race will be a good start, which would give me the chance to fight and maybe to start the season with a top ten result”.
“Qualifying was much better than free practice yesterday. With the changes we made on the bike, my feeling has definitely improved. But I’m frustrated, because I expected to go faster than in the test and in the end I didn’t. In real race weekend conditions, with very limited time and only a few laps, you have to find your pace very quickly and you can’t waste any time. I have to work hard to get ready for a good lap time and to get the best out of what we have. Anyway, with used tyres, I found a good rhythm in FP4. I hope that this will enable me to ride a good race tomorrow”.