Rabat makes fast start in France
Le Mans, France – 16 May 2014: World Championship leader Tito Rabat made a fast start to the French Moto2 weekend in Le Mans today, the Marc VDS Racing taking second place on the practice leaderboard.
Quickest in sunny but cool conditions this morning, Rabat improved his pace to a 1.38.314 in FP2 and was only denied top spot by just 0.060s by fellow Spaniard Luis Salom.
Mika Kallio, who stormed to a dominant win in Jerez, was satisfied to end the day in a positive eighth position, the flying Finn’s best time of 1.38.659 leaving him less than 0.3s away from the top three.
Livio Loi ended a tremendously close Moto3 practice in 22nd position, with the top 25 on the timesheets covered by less than 1.4s. Improved turning and rear grip will be the Belgian’s focus ahead of Sunday’s 24-lap race.
Tito Rabat // 2nd // 1’38.254
“I am happy to have set the fastest time this morning and I only lost top spot in the second session by a very small margin to Salom. The lap times are very close at the top and I spent the whole day working on the set-up for the race. I am happy with the set-up we found but we need to improve because it is going to be a difficult race with so many riders already looking very strong.”
Mika Kallio // 8th // 1’38.659
“My pace was good and very consistent, particularly in the last exit. The most pleasing point is I used an old tyre from this morning for the whole of FP2 and I am only 0.4s slower. Tito used new tyres and I am not far off him on used tyres, so that is satisfying. We still have work to do because the bike doesn’t want to stop so good and I kept running wide, particularly this morning. It is easy to make a mistake when I push to the limit, so we need to find some more front grip.”
Livio Loi // 22nd //1’44.720
“I was almost one second faster in FP2 compared to this morning but I am too much at the limit to make the lap time. I still don’t have the best feeling with the bike and we definitely need to improve for tomorrow. The main issues are the second phase of turning where I feel I might run wide and I don’t have the full trust of the rear tyre under acceleration, so we need to find some more rear grip.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“We have to be satisfied with how the French Grand Prix has started. Tito did a great job to be fastest this morning and finish second overall, because he has had some physical issues this week. We were worried it might have an impact on his riding, but clearly he is still very fast and competitive. Mika didn’t have an easy FP1 but he bounced back strong and I am sure he can fighting for the front row tomorrow. Livio is having a very up and down time right now. He was unbelievably strong in Argentina, not so good in Jerez, but then he had a great test in Almeria. Today was difficult again, so we need to find some solutions to help him be much higher up.”