Rabat looking for home race advantage in Jerez
Tito Rabat is looking for a home race boost this weekend, as Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS head to Jerez in Andalucía to start the European phase of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship season.
Jerez was the track at which Rabat took his first World Championship win, with victory in the Moto2 race back in 2013, and the Spaniard is hoping to give the home crowd something to cheer for again this weekend, as he looks to close further on a top ten finish.
Jack Miller heads into this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix determined to improve on top ten finishes in the three opening races of the season. The 22-year-old Australian is looking forward to the return to Europe, confident that Jerez is a circuit that will suit well his riding style and the characteristics of the 2017 Honda RC213V.
It is 30 years since Jerez hosted its first Grand Prix race and the circuit remains as popular as ever with riders and fans alike. With more than 100,000 spectators packing the stands around the 4.4km track an electric atmosphere is always guaranteed on race day.
“I am pleased with how the season has started for me with points scoring finishes in the opening three races, despite the injuries from the testing crash in Sepang putting us a little bit on the back foot initially. I'm happy with the work we've done in the races so far; my team are working well together and I feel more comfortable on the bike with every lap. Now we head to Spain for my home race, where there is always a little bit more pressure to perform because you want to put on a good show for your fellow countrymen. There will be plenty of distractions, but we need to remain focussed, carry on working as we have done up to now and continue trying to close the gap to my teammate Jack in the race.”
“It's been a good three opening races for me in Qatar, Argentina and America, but I'm looking forward to getting to Jerez and getting the European phase of the championship started. I like Jerez and it's another track at which our Honda RC213V works well, so I'm feeling positive going into the weekend. Now we need to take what we've learnt in the overseas races and during preseason testing and apply it this weekend in Jerez. We've had three top ten finishes on the trot and that's good, but I'm definitely looking for more now we're back racing in Europe.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“We're three races into the championship already, but there is a definite feeling in the paddock that our return to Europe marks the start of the season proper. From now until Sachsenring we're racing almost every other weekend and it is imperative that we start strongly in Jerez. Jack has finished inside the top ten in every race so far, but now we need to focus on getting him a little closer to the top five. The first part of this will be trying to improve his qualifying position, as this is key to a good result at a track like Jerez. Tito continues to improve and he heads to Jerez with the same goal as always, to continue closing the gap to Jack. He's close in practice and qualifying, but now he needs to find the same little extra that Jack always pulls out in the race.”