MotoGP GP of Italy – Mugello
Reale Avintia Racing rider Tito Rabat returned to action on the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of Italy, after his spectacular crash during the tests at Barcelona last week. Rabat worked hard over the last days in order to arrive in Italy in the best possible shape. Even though it became obvious in the first laps that he is not at a 100 per cent physically, he found to his rhythm and improved his feelings with the Ducati Desmosedici step by step. From the first to the second free practice session, the Spaniard managed to improve his lap time by roughly a second. He now hopes to make another step forward on Saturday.
Teammate Xavi Simeon had a difficult day on the fast and sweeping Mugello circuit. The MotoGP rookie is not comfortable on his bike yet, which slows his progress. Despite his best efforts to change his riding style for the premier class, the habits from the Moto2 category are still present. The Belgian rider knows where he needs to improve and his technical crew, together with riding coach Rubén Xaus, are working hand in hand so Xavi can move up to where he deserves to be.
“This morning, I hoped my arm would be better, but I realised immediately that i lacked strength. But as I continued to ride, my body adapted to riding the bike step by step and we made progress. After my crash at the Barcelona test, it was very important for me to get back on the bike as soon as possible and every time I go out on the track, I feel a little better. In the afternoon, we made a good step in the right direction and things went quite well. It was a shame that I ran into traffic towards the end and we slowed each other down, because I could have finished a bit higher up.”
“I am struggling to make the steps I want to make and we continue to be far away from the top. I keep a lot of lean angle in the corners whereas you should pick these bikes up very early on the corner exit in order to make the best possible use of all the horsepower they have. So far, I can’t use this power to my advantage, but I need to figure out how, if I want to make real progress. In my sixth Grand Prix I should be closer. That’s why I am not very happy with the way the first day at Mugello went.”