Rabat impresses on revised Indy track
Indianapolis, USA – 8 August 2014: The Marc VDS Racing Team’s Moto2 World Championship leader Tito Rabat made an impressive return to action after the three-week summer break, finishing third quickest on the opening day of practice at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Spaniard was quickly up to speed on a modified, faster layout that also features new asphalt to set a personal best time of 1.37.697 that left him less than 0.2s off Dominique Aegerter’s fastest pace.
The second half of the 2014 World Championship commenced in challenging circumstances for Mika Kallio, who ended 11th after encountering front and rear grip issues in this afternoon’s second practice session.
Spaniard Jorge Navarro enjoyed an encouraging if somewhat challenging Moto3 debut with the Marc VDS Racing Team to finish 22nd quickest on the timesheets.
Rain disruptions in both sessions didn’t make the challenge of adapting to a new team, bike or circuit any easier but he acquitted himself well to finish just 0.3s outside of the top 20.
Tito Rabat // 3rd //1.37.697
“I am satisfied to be inside the top three in both sessions today. I feel good on the bike after the summer break and I like the changes to the track. I like this track a lot and have had good success here, but the new layout and the new tarmac makes the track even more fun. The main focus today was to understand the grip of the new surface and it feels good, but we can still make some improvements before we make the tyre selection for the race.”
Mika Kallio // 11th // 1.38.353
“I’ve never liked this track so it was the difficult day I expected. Even though the new surface is a big improvement compared to the past, I had some issues with the tyres today. I saved the soft tyres for this afternoon’s session and at the beginning I was very fast and challenging for the top three. But after six laps something happened with the rear tyre. It started to vibrate a lot and nothing we did with the set-up changed it. It got worse and it was jumping going into the corner and suddenly I was a second slower. We need to analyse this problem and understand why we destroyed the tyre. I am running the same tyres as Tito and his look really good and mine are finished.”
Jorge Navarro // 22nd // 1.44.576
“Today was a fantastic day for me to make my debut with the Marc VDS Racing team. It is such a high level team and I really enjoyed working with the crew. Everything is new with the team, the bike and the track but I am satisfied with my performance given the conditions were not ideal in both sessions with the rain. If we can improve braking and corner entry to give me more confidence I am sure I can make a good step tomorrow.”