Rabat gains experience and points in Texas tussle
Tito Rabat rode his Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda machine to another encouraging point scoring finish in a physically demanding Circuit of the Americas MotoGP race today.
Once into his consistent race rhythm, the Spaniard found himself locked in a close battle for 12th place with Eugene Laverty and Yonny Hernandez in the latter stages of the 21-lap race at the 5.5km Austin track.
Rabat manoeuvred his way by Hernandez on lap 19 before he began to exert intense pressure on Laverty. The former Moto2 World Champion put in a spirited late attack to try and take a hard earned 12th spot, but just failed to make a pass stick on the final lap. Rabat’s effort was rewarded though with a third successive top 15 finish and more importantly he gained more crucial experience of his RC213V over a full race distance.
Rabat was the lone participant for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS this afternoon after Jack Miller withdrew yesterday. A right foot injury sustained in a nasty FP1 crash ruled the Australian out of action.
Rabat and Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS are now poised to begin the intensive European phase of the World Championship, starting with the eagerly anticipated Jerez round in Spain.
Tito Rabat 13th
“It was another difficult race but we are improving all of the time. In Qatar I was alone and last but in the last two races I’ve managed to battle with some much more experienced riders and that is a big positive. I find it difficult to overtake in the first laps because I have a lot of movement from the front and it is easy to make a mistake. I need to finish and learn and that’s what I did again, so I am happy with my own job and also the job of the team. I had a good battle with Laverty and picked up some tips where I can be stronger. I passed Yonny and almost passed Laverty on the last lap but just couldn’t quite find a way through. Now I am looking forward to returning to Europe and being fully prepared for Jerez, which is a race I am really looking forward to.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“After a difficult practice and qualifying it is satisfying to see Tito push hard to the chequered flag and pick up more valuable experience and points. He is still learning how to extract the best performance out of the Honda package and in the final laps it was pleasing to see his pace was around seventh place. These first races were always going to be tricky while he tried to build up confidence and experience, so to collect important points in Argentina and Austin shows we are moving in the right direction.”