Further improvement for Rabat at Sepang
Sepang, Malaysia – 03 February 2016: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat ended the first official MotoGP test of 2016 in 17th position on the timesheet, after improving his lap time significantly on the hard rear tyre today.
Rain and a damp track caused a delay to the start of the third and final day of testing at Sepang, with the riders only venturing out once the track had dried completely. With the softer option tyre unavailable once again, Rabat and his crew focussed on building his confidence in the harder option rear and improving the bike from mid-corner to exit.
Rabat was working his way through a test program to evaluate a number of changes to the Honda RC213V when he lost the front at the now infamous turn five and crashed heavily. While the bike was badly damaged in the crash, the former Moto2 World Champion was uninjured and was able to continue testing aboard his spare machine.
Rabat will return to action on the 17th February at Phillip Island, where it is hoped he’ll be joined by his Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS teammate, Jack Miller, who sat out the Sepang test after fracturing his right tibia and fibula in a training accident.
Tito Rabat: 17th – 2’02.328
“Yesterday we struggled to find a good feeling with the hard rear tyre, so that was the focus for today. We made quite big changes to the bike and the feeling was better, which was reflected in the lap time. The crash at turn five was strange, because I was on an out lap, not pushing, but the front just went away and down I went. We returned to the track with the spare bike to test a few more things, but the track conditions had deteriorated and I went down again in the final turn. After that we decided to stop, because the conditions weren’t going to improve. I am physically tired after three days on the MotoGP bike, but already I’m looking forward to getting back on the Honda RC213V at Phillip Island, where I hope we can continue to improve.”
Chris Pike: Chief Engineer – Tito Rabat
“Today we continued working to get Tito comfortable and confident with the hard rear tyre. Getting this tyre to work isn’t easy, especially when you’re new to the class like Tito, and he was struggling a little to get the bike to turn and then drive out of the corner. We made some big changes today, which brought an improvement and allowed Tito to better his time on the same tyre compared to yesterday. It was a productive three-days here at Sepang, because we now have a good base to work from when we arrive in Phillip Island for the second of the three official MotoGP tests.”