Rabat fastest on opening day at Motegi
Motegi, Japan – 10 October 2014: Moto2 World Championship leader Tito Rabat topped the timesheet on the opening day at Motegi, with his Marc VDS teammate Mika Kallio finishing seventh.
Rabat was fast from the outset in Japan, finishing this morning’s opening 45-minute free practice in second position, but with the exact same lap time as Tom Lüthi, who claimed the number one spot. Rabat improved his lap time by almost a second during this afternoon’s second session, the only rider to drop into the 1’50s bracket as he ended the day first on combined times.
Fifth in free practice one this morning, Kallio dropped to seventh in the second session, despite improving his lap time, after encountering set-up issues. The 31-year-old Finn struggled to find a good feeling with the front under braking and corner entry, but will sit down with his crew tonight to find a solution for tomorrow.
The Marc VDS Racing Team’s Moto3 rider, Jorge Navarro, had to contend once again with learning his way around a new track today. The 18-year-old Spaniard was 29th this morning, but he improved his lap time by more than a second as his circuit knowledge increased this afternoon, ending the day in 23rd position.
Tito Rabat // 1st // 1’50.990
“Today we made a good job, testing the different rear tyres and, for the moment, the bike feels good, I feel good and the lap time was the best I’ve done here at Motegi. I enjoyed today, but it’s important that we keep working tomorrow so that we’re ready to race on Sunday.”
Mika Kallio // 7th // 1’51.956
“With the package and settings we have at the moment it’s not possible for me to go any faster. I’m on the limit. We thought the set up we started with today would be good for the Motegi circuit, but I had problems with the front under braking and on corner entry. When you don’t have a good feeling from the front then the bike doesn’t turn and you need to be a bit careful pushing the bike into the turn. That’s the area in which we need to improve, but it’s difficult to know exactly in which direction we need to go, so we need to sit down and analyse the data tonight and come up with a plan for tomorrow morning.”
Jorge Navarro // 23rd // 1’58.934
“Today was a learning day, as it’s my first time here at Motegi, but already I like the track. I have improved with each exit in both sessions today and the feeling with the bike is good. Now we have to keep working, improve where we can and I need to keep learning. If we can do that tomorrow then I think we will be ready to race on Sunday.”