Heroic Rabat inside top 10 in Sachsenring practice
Sachsenring, Germany – 10 July 2015: Tito Rabat showed he’s got the bravery and determination to match his talent and skill after the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider ended an eventful opening practice day at the Sachsenring in eighth position.
Riding just six days after breaking his right collarbone in a testing accident in Almeria, Rabat gave the recovering shoulder a thorough examination this morning by completing just two laps less than the full 29-lap race distance.
The reigning World Champion was only 0.019s outside of the top three in FP1, but he encountered a difficult second session this afternoon when he crashed unhurt at turn 8 while pushing on a new rear tyre.
Rabat quickly worked his way back into a fast rhythm after fantastic work by his Team Estrella Galiicia 0,0 Marc VDS crew to repair his damaged Kalex machine in rapid time. A late red flag interrupted his charge and he was unable to improve on his FP1 best time of 1.25.195 once proceedings got back underway after a short delay.
Álex Márquez made good progress in finding more front-end feeling through the tight and twisty sections of the Sachsenring track, but he found himself down in 21st position on the combined timesheets.
Today’s result though was a further indication of how competitive the Moto2 World Championship is in 2015, with Márquez just over 0.7s off the quickest pace.
Tito Rabat: 8th – 1’25.195
“I am disappointed with the result this afternoon but I am not so far away. I was lucky I didn’t aggravate my collarbone injury in the crash because I didn’t get any pain. It was a stupid crash but it can happen. The good thing is I was able to do a lot of laps this morning and I didn’t have any physical problems with the shoulder at all, so Dr Mir and his staff did a fantastic job with the surgery last weekend.”
Álex Márquez: 21st – 1’25.743
“We actually made some good improvements with the bike today, even if the position doesn’t look so good. I am only 21st but the gap to the front is only 0.7s and it just shows how close the Moto2 category is. We need to improve to find more speed but I am happy with the progress we have made to give me more feedback from the front. I’m sure we can take another step that will allow me to push with even more confidence tomorrow.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was not a normal Friday by our normally high standards but considering the circumstances we can be positive. It was a difficult second session when Tito crashed with the fresh tyre. It was a bad moment but fortunately he didn’t damage the collarbone. He was getting back into his rhythm when the red flag came out, and in the last six minutes we have to say that a few other riders were just faster. The same applies to Álex. But Tito did a long run this morning and crashed this afternoon without any problems for the shoulder, so he will be stronger tomorrow. Álex finds it difficult on smaller tracks in Moto2 and while I expected more after his recent impressive performances, he will be a stronger threat tomorrow.”