MotoGP French GP – Le Mans
The first day of practice for the French Grand Prix went very well for the riders of Team Reale Avintia Racing.
Tito Rabat was, once again, very strong in terms of race pace and finished in twelfth position in both free practice sessions. Once again, it was apparent how competitive and hard-fought the MotoGP category is, with the 16 fastest riders separated by just nine tenths of a second. On Saturday, Rabat hopes to improve a bit more and to make a direct move to Q2.
For team-mate Xavier Simeon, the Le Mans circuit felt like a new race track. The MotoGP rookie improved his lap times every time he took to the track, but hasn’t found the best set-up for the “stop and go” characteristics of this race track yet. The Belgian rider also hopes to make a step forward on Saturday and aims at improving his position on the starting grid for the race on Sunday.
“We did a good job and scored twelfth place in the morning, s result that we were able to confirm in the afternoon. The best part was that we were able to improve our race pace and the feeling with the bike. Once again, the times are very close together. We are in twelfth place, but only six tenths of a second behind the fastest guy on the track. We are sure about our set-up and also made up our minds about the right tyre choice for the race. Tomorrow we will pull all stops for a good grid position, even though our focus remains on the race on Sunday, like always. We still need to improve on our speed for one single hot lap, but we are working on this and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”
“This first day at Le Mans was like the first day at school for me. Like at the last race at Austin, it was tough to go out on a track where I never rode a MotoGP bike before. It took me some times to set my reference points and to find the right lines with this motorcycle. Al things considered, we made a good step in the right direction and we improved every time I went out on the track. I still can’t push hard enough at the corner entries and I don’t pick up the bike early enough, which is why I cover more distance than the others and lose a bit. But we are analysing every detail in order to do much better on Saturday.”