Brave Rabat ready for Barcelona battle
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS hopes to be back to full strength for this weekend’s MotoGP showdown at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Tito Rabat preparing for a brave return to action from a left shoulder injury that ruled him out in Mugello.
Rabat heads to his home round in Barcelona fully intending to line up on the grid for Sunday’s 25-lap race after making positive progress during an intensive rehabilitation from the fractured left collarbone he suffered in an FP3 fall in Italy.
Rabat’s participation in round seven of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship is subject to medical clearance being issued on Thursday after he needed a titanium plate and eight titanium screws to stabilise the damaged collarbone in a 90-minute procedure carried out at the Hospital Universitario Dexeus in Barcelona.
The 26-year-old is determined to feature in front of a massive home crowd because the 4.7km track is a personal favourite, and he has stood on the Moto2 podium at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the last three years, including a win from pole position in 2014.
Australian teammate Jack Miller is also looking to bounce back from a less painful but equally frustrating Mugello race. Miller was unhurt when he was the innocent victim of a three-rider first turn collision.
Miller can draw strength from the fact that his best result in his rookie MotoGP campaign in 2015 came with an 11th place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and he is gearing up to launch a strong challenge for a maiden top 10 in the premier class.
“Firstly, I want to say a big thanks to all the medical team and circuit staff at Mugello and Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS for all the attention I received after my crash. Their quick reaction was very important in giving me a chance to ride in my home race this weekend. The operation in Barcelona last week went very well and Doctors Mir and Marlet as always did a great job. I have been fully concentrated on recovering as well as I possibly can, and I will be giving my all to be on track in my home Grand Prix. The target is to be as close to full strength as I can be and work closely with my team and Honda to try and make another step. I felt we’d made another small step before my crash in Mugello and that was good. I will try to finish the race and improve my feeling with the bike. If we can do that I think it will be a successful weekend.”
“The race didn’t finish like we wanted in Mugello but I’ve got to take the positives out of a bad situation and I definitely think we found some improvement with my race pace in Italy. I can’t dwell too much on Mugello and I’ve got to forget about that and be fully concentrated on bouncing back with a strong performance in Barcelona. I’m really looking forward to this weekend. My European base is not too far away from Barcelona in Andorra, so it is like a second home race for me. I really like the track and it seems to suit the Honda as well, and last year I had my best result in MotoGP, so that also gives me confidence.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“After a successful operation to plate the collarbone he fractured in his Mugello crash, Tito will return to action this weekend in Barcelona. He will need to pass a fitness assessment on Thursday, but he is confident he’s fit to ride in his home race. Sure, he won’t be fully fit, but he should be able to continue to improve his understanding of the bike despite the injury. Jack was unlucky in Mugello, the innocent victim of someone else’s mistake, but the good news was that he wasn’t injured in the crash and he heads to Barcelona determined to put in a strong performance in front of the Spanish fans.”