MotoGP GP of Italy – Mugello
After a difficult first day of practice at the Italian Grand Prix, where the muscle injury in his left arm made it impossible to ride very fast, Reale Avintia Racing rider Tito Rabat surprised his team and the fans at Mugello with a great performance on day two. The Spaniard was on fire, rode consistently fast and was battling for an entry to the Q2 qualifying of the twelve fastest riders of the MotoGP class until the last minute. At the end of the Q1 session, he was third, only fractions of a second behind Jack Miller and his compatriot Maverick Viñales, and will start the race on Sunday from 13th position on the grid.
For team-mate Xavier Simeon, the second day of practice was also positive. The Belgian rider of Reale Avintia keeps struggling with the adaptation of his riding style to the premier class and the fast Mugello circuit is certainly a special challenge for a MotoGP rookie. But on Saturday, Simeon improved his best lap time by roughly a second and he is now confident to make another step in the warm-up session before the race.
Qualifying took place in sunny and hot conditions, with track temperatures up to 50 degree. The weather forecast for the race on Sunday, the sixth round of this year’s MotoGP world championship, is much the same, with lots of sunshine and summer heat.
“If anybody would have told me yesterday that I would be battling to get into Q2 today, I wouldn’t have believed it. But I had a really good day, we did well both in the free practice sessions and in qualifying. I am happy, because it would have been easy to stay at home and watch the race on television, but now I am here and will start the race from 13th place on the grid. With the adrenalin of racing, the arm doesn’t hurt, which is also very positive. Now we have to check and see where we can improve a bit more in the warm-up session. Then I will concentrate on the race and try to achieve the best result possible.”
“I still don’t feel comfortable with the bike, but nevertheless, we managed to make a step forward, which was very positive. Our performance was much better than yesterday. Even though we are still far from where we want to be and we still need to improve, I finished the day satisfied. We got closer to the top and this is what counts. Having said that, the level in this class is very high, the times are very close together and we need to boost our performance even more if we want to have a chance to battle for positions towards the front. It won’t be easy, but we will continue to work hard in order to get the maximum out of the equipment we have.”