Rabat and Kallio lead the way at Brno
Brno, Czech Republic – 15 August 2014: Tito Rabat ended the opening day at Brno at the top of the timesheet, with his Marc VDS teammate Mika Kallio second by just one tenth.
It was Rabat who made the most of almost perfect conditions to set the fastest time during the first 45-minute session, with Kallio dropping down to fifth having decided to run the harder option tyres this morning.
Rain ahead of this afternoon’s second free practice session left the track damp but drying, with Kallio waiting until the last 15 minutes before heading out to claim the top spot on the timesheet as conditions improved. The 31-year-old Finn was one of the few riders to improve his lap time this afternoon, but he was unable to better Rabat’s time from this morning.
For Jorge Navarro the opening day at Brno was spent learning his way around the 5.4km circuit. The 18-year-old Spaniard proved a fast learner, improving his lap time in the second free practice session by over a second to finish as the highest placed Kalex-KTM rider in 19th position and just 1.863s off the fastest time, set by Alex Marquez.
Tito Rabat // 1st // 2’03.126
“I’m happy with the job we’ve done today. I was fastest in the first practice session this morning, despite some issues with the bike We needed to test some different settings on the bike in the second session, which didn’t give me the same feeling, but I was still only two-tenths from Mika, so it wasn’t so bad. Tomorrow we will go more in the same direction with the settings as this morning, as well as looking for further improvements. Everyone seems to have had problems today with the revised shift system in the new engines, but it looks like we have this sorted now and I’m feeling positive about tomorrow.”
Mika Kallio // 2nd // 2’03.268
“It was a little disappointing that we didn’t get a full dry session this afternoon, as it meant we couldn’t test everything on our plan. We could see at the start this afternoon that the lap times were a long way off the pace of this morning, so I waited until conditions improved a little before going out, but even with the sun and wind, turns five and six stayed fully wet almost to the end of the session. We went with the softer option tyres front and rear this afternoon and, like always, my feeling with the bike, especially the front, was much better than with the harder tyres. Overall it’s been a positive day, but we still have some work to do tomorrow as a result of the mixed conditions this afternoon.”
Jorge Navarro // 19th // 2’09.842
“Brno is another new track for me, but at least this weekend it is the only new thing, as I now have some experience of the Kalex-KTM and the team after Indianapolis. This morning I did many laps on used tyres just so I could learn and get confidence on the new track. This afternoon we improved by one second and my feeling was good, but we need to make some changes to the bike to improve further, as I believe we can be higher up the order tomorrow.”