MotoGP Thai Test – Chang International Circuit
The second day of testing at the Chang International Circuit was very intense for the MotoGP riders, with temperatures that almost reached 50 degrees of the asphalt and 37 of the air. The sweltering heat didn’t stop Reale Avintia Racing rider Tito Rabat from completing 69 laps on his Ducati Desmosedici GP17 to finish twelfth in the standings, with a gap of just half a second to the ‘top 5’. Better still, Rabat’s ongoing lack of confidence for the front, a problem that haunted him since the last test in Malaysia, seems to be solved and now he can push even with the harder tyre compound of Michelin.
His teammate Xavi Simeon started the day very well, as he immediately improved his pace from yesterday. Afterwards he didn’t manage to make progress with the set-up of his bike and ended up a bit disappointed. But the Belgian is far from panicking, since the tests are there to try different things and, after many seasons in Moto2, also to learn everything about MotoGP, a much more demanding category in every aspect.
Despite being only a test, Thai fans have flocked to Buriram crowding the stands of the main straigh and more than 30,000 spectators are expected for tomorrow.
“I’m very happy because today we were able to work a lot on the bike. I’m even more happy because I’ve built a lot of confidence with the front. Until today, this was the negative point with my bike, because whenever I pushed a little more I crashed and this wasn’t good. But today I didn’t crash, and we were able to try the hardest Michelin front for the first time with positive results. In the final minutes I grabbed a new set of tyres and I did a good lap time, but the most important thing for me is that we have been fast and consistent with old tyres. Tonight I have to rest well to start full throttle tomorrow”.
“It was a strange day. We started well in the morning and on the first exit I was faster than yesterday straight away and since the lap time came easily, the expectations were quite high. A little later I had a small crash entering the last corner, which didn’t make me lose confidence because I was going really slow. But then as the day went on, we were not able to improve and I think we lost a bit the way with the set-up. I was hitting a wall with my pace and I couldn’t lap in 1’31. But this is testing. Sometimes you take the wrong the direction with the bike, which I’m sure will help me to learn more about MotoGP. I said yesterday that the track seemed easy, but it’s not that easy after all, which we confirmed today”.