Rabat on fire at home in Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain – 13 June 2014: Tito Rabat got his weekend off to a flying start in Barcelona, as he topped the timesheet in both of today’s free practice sessions. Mika Kallio ended the day third on combined times, but with some work to do to find a competitive set up for Sunday’s 23-lap race.
Rabat stamped his authority on his home Grand Prix from the outset today. The 25-year-old Marc VDS rider was fastest by 0.7s in this morning’s opening free practice session, a margin he duplicated in this afternoon’s second free practice session, after improving on his previous best time.
Kallio was second in the opening free practice but was unable to match his lap time and slipped down the order this afternoon, after going the wrong way with the set up of his Kalex Moto2 machine. The 31-year-old Finn was struggling for rear grip, but remains confident that a solution can be found ahead of qualifying tomorrow.
Livio Loi enjoyed a solid opening day to his Grand Prix de Catalunya weekend, finishing 18th overall after the first two Moto3 free practice sessions, but just 1.147s off the time of Niklas Ajo, the fastest rider on track today.
Tito Rabat // 1st // 1’46.955
“Today we made a good job, but today is only Friday. I’m happy to be fastest today, but Sunday in the race is when I really need to be fastest, not in free practice. We still need to work a lot in practice and qualifying tomorrow and, even then, it could all change on Sunday if it rains. Either way, we need to keep working.”
Mika Kallio // 3rd // 1’47.836
“This morning was okay, but then we made some changes to the gearing and the length of the bike for FP2, in a bid to improve rear grip. It just didn’t work as we expected and the bike was quite difficult to ride. We will go back closer to the settings from this morning for tomorrow, but finding a good setting at this track has always been complicated for me. Tomorrow I will also try to adapt my riding style a little. Instead of braking hard and trying to get on the gas really early, maybe carrying more speed on corner entry is the key. We will see in practice tomorrow, but what is sure is that we need to find something.”
Livio Loi // 18th // 1’53.077
“The feeling with the bike is better here than it was in Jerez, Le Mans and Mugello. The movement at the front that has caused us so many problems isn’t so apparent here in Barcelona. We still need to try and put more weight on the front, because it’s a bit vague holding a line through the turns at the moment. This isn’t such a big problem in the first three sectors, but it’s losing me over a second through the faster turns in the final sector. If we can make the bike work better through the last few fast turns then it will make a big difference to my lap time.”