Rabat and Kallio lead the way in Jerez

Rabat and Kallio lead the way in Jerez

Jerez, Spain – 2 May 2014: The Marc VDS Racing Team’s Tito Rabat and Mika Kallio laid down the gauntlet at Jerez, ending the opening day first and second on the timesheet and separated by less than a tenth of a second.

Rabat and Kallio, who are also first and second in the championship standings, set their fastest times in the cooler conditions of FP1 this morning. With the track temperature increasing this afternoon and the conditions more closely matching those expected for Sunday’s race, both riders focussed on machine set-up on used tyres. With less grip available on the hotter track, none of the top ten riders improved on their lap times from this morning. 

Livio Loi was 11th in this morning’s first Moto3 free practice session, but slipped down the order to finish the day 19th, after going in the wrong direction with the set up of his Kalex-KTM machine. The 17-year-old Belgian is confident that reverting to his original set up will bring improvements tomorrow,  

Tito Rabat // 1st // 1’43.486
“I’m quickest overall today with my time from this morning, but I’m not really happy with how things went this afternoon. The track conditions changed as the temperature went up and we had many problems getting the bike to turn in the fast corners. We need to work to find a solution, as conditions for the race on Sunday are likely to be very similar to today. This is my home race and I want to win. Like always, I will do my best.”

Mika Kallio // 2nd // 1’43.564
“This morning we started with the hard option rear, because we think the softer tyre will be the choice for both qualifying and the race. Initially I struggled to find a good feeling with the tyre, but we made some changes to the bike and I was able to go a second faster for the last three laps. We continued on the same tyres this afternoon, as the race will be run in similar conditions. Grip starts to drop after about five laps, so it was important to get a feel for the bike in this condition, as this is how the bike will be for most of Sunday’s race. In terms of settings, we’re pretty close and will only need a few small tweaks for qualifying tomorrow.” 

Livio Loi // 19th // 1’48.780
“The feeling this morning was generally good, apart from some issues on corner entry at certain parts of the track. This afternoon we made some changes to the bike to address this, and to compensate for the change in the conditions, but they made things worse rather than better. Tomorrow we will go back to a set up closer to that which we used this morning and I’m confident I can be back on the pace ahead of qualifying in the afternoon.”