Rabat leads the way at Assen

Rabat leads the way at Assen

Assen, Holland – 26 Jun 2014: Tito Rabat ended the opening day at Assen at the top of the timesheet, after posting his fastest time late in this afternoon’s second free practice session.

It was Rabat and Dominique Aegerter who made the early running, with the Moto2 World Championship leader losing time to the Swiss rider through the final sector on each lap. Rabat managed to improve enough to claim the top spot as the session drew to a close, but he and his crew will be looking tonight for further improvements in the all-important final sector ready for tomorrow.

Second fastest in this morning’s first free practice, Mika Kallio slipped down to eighth at the end of this afternoon’s 45-minute session after opting to stay on the same set-up to test both option rear tyres that Dunlop have available at Assen. The 31-year-old Finn is confident he can close the gap to his Marc VDS teammate ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

Livio Loi was disappointed to end the day in a lowly 33rd position, as he adapts to the KTM RC250R Moto3 machine that he’s racing for the first time this weekend in Assen. The 17-year-old Belgian pushed hard for the change of bike, only to discover that the transition wasn’t quite as smooth as he was expecting. Despite the disappointment, Loi remains confident that more track time on the bike will bring an improvement.

Tito Rabat // 1st // 1’37.869
“Today has not quite hard, and the lap time didn’t come so easy. We need to do a lot of work, especially in the final sector where I’m losing a little bit of time at the moment. We need to find some improvements, like always, but I think it’s going to be a very hard weekend.”

Mika Kallio // 8th // 1’38.452
“The feeling I had this morning was good, so we decided to stick with the same set up for this afternoon, to give us a better comparison between the two rear tyre options. On the softer option the feeling was good and my time was a little faster than this morning, but the whole bike feels different whenever we switch to the hard tyre, and the same was true today. The rear feels like there is no grip and the tyre is moving sideways and not digging in. I can do the same lap times as I can on the soft tyre, but the feeling is that with the lap time comes a lot more risk. Now we will try some changes with the set up for tomorrow, as we have a few tenths to find.”

Livio Loi // 33rd // 1’45.475
“Today wasn’t what I was hoping for. It’s proved more difficult to adapt to the KTM than I was expecting, and we haven’t made the big steps we were looking for today at Assen. I need more time on the bike, but time is something we simply don’t have. We must continue working in free practice and qualifying tomorrow and, if necessary, use this race as a test, so that we go to Sachsenring in a better position. A good result in the final race before the summer break is critical and we need to work towards that.”