MotoGP GP of Argentina – Termas de Río Hondo
Reale Avintia Racing team rider Tito Rabat had a rocket start on the opening free practice day at the circuit of Termas de Río Hondo. The Spaniard finished the day with the fourth fastest lap time in the combined standings and, most importantly, had very good feelings riding his Ducati GP17 around the Argentinian track. Rabat stayed calm in the morning, when the conditions of the track were dubious due to a layer of dust. In the afternoon, everything was delayed due to a brief rain shower. When the track had dried up again, Rabat ignored the wind gusts that had started to blow across the track and pushed hard to finish the first day as the fastest Ducati rider in fourth place.
The first day at Termas was also positive for his teammate Xavier Simeon. Even though his position in the time sheets doesn’t reflect it, the Belgian MotoGP ‘rookie’ improved his feelings with the Ducati and made another step towards finding a natural riding style. In the morning, he classified ahead of some other MotoGP rookies, but in the afternoon he couldn’t improve his pace due to the rain and the shortened track time.
“We had a great first day. We found a strong pace and also put in a fast lap time. In the first practice session, the track was a little dirty, but this afternoon, the conditions were almost perfect for me. Every day I feel better with the Ducati and with my team. Now we have to focus on qualifying tomorrow, because I want to improve further and get a good position on the grid for Sunday’s race. We mainly have to work on tyre life and we will also try to go a little faster.”
“This morning was very good for me and I was very happy with the feeling I had riding the bike, I tried to take the pressure off a bit, to ride with my instinct and to use all I’ve learned in Qatar, and to be honest, I enjoyed this a lot. This afternoon, the conditions were a bit more difficult, because the tarmac lost grip due to the rain. We waited for the track to dry up, but with less track time, it was harder to improve my pace. In the end, my lap time was the same as in the morning, but the feelings were worse because the track felt greasy after the rain. Overall I think that we made a step forward compared to Qatar and this is the most positive thing for me.”