MotoGP GP of Italy – Mugello
Reale Avintia Racing rider Tito Rabat rode his 200th Grand Prix in the motorcycle world championship today at Mugello, and to celebrate this milestone, he conquered two points despite his injury. The left arm of the Spanish rider was still in pain after the heavy crash suffered at the Barcelona test last week, but Rabat grit his teeth and completed the gruelling 23-lap-race to cross the finish line in 13th position. Under normal circumstances, this position wouldn’t have been a dream result for Rabat, but to finish such a difficult race, which saw seven crashes and five riders not being classified, was an achievement in itself. Even though the arm injury continued to bother him throughout the race, Rabat’s main problem was the rise in asphalt temperatures, which caused a sudden drop in front tyre performance. Now, Rabat is only concentrating on his recovery in order to be fully fit for his home race at Montmeló in two weeks, where we wants to make his comeback within the Top Ten of the MotoGP category.
Xavier Simeon also hung in and finished a long and tough race, but wasn’t happy with his final position. The Belgian rider had a very good start, but ran into problems with his rear tyre early on in the race. The “rookie” of Reale Avintia Racing managed to bring his bike home in 17th position, which is his best result since his debut in the MotoGP class at the season-opening race in Qatar. Obviously, Simeon wants to finish higher up and to put up a fight with his rivals. In Barcelona, where he completed quite a promising test, he hopes to be able to show his true potential.
“First and foremost, I am happy that I scored two points here, when it would have been easy to stay at home after my crash at Barcelona. However, after doing so well in qualifying yesterday, I sincerely hoped to finish higher up. But in the race, the front tyre felt as if I was skating on ice. The track conditions had changed dramatically and with the rise in temperatures, we all suffered a lot. I struggled to adapt to these conditions. I rode with the handbrake on, so to speak, and we finished the race 22 seconds behind the winner. Now I am thinking of the next race at Montmeló, my home Grand Prix, where I hope to be able to fight for positions within the front group of riders again.”
“I started very well and I made up four positions, but after four or five laps, the problems with my rear tyre began. The rear end would step out every time I cut the gas and I was close to crashing on four or five occasions. Apart from that, I concentrated on trying to keep the pace, but the race was tough and felt especially long, because I was riding by myself for most of the time. The warm-up session this morning was positive and we made some changes that helped me to ride more comfortably in the race. But I am not satisfied. I want to fight higher up in the field, so we have to continue to work.”