Rabat powers to record lap in sunny Spain
Aragon, Spain – 25 September 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat made a flying start to the 100th Moto2 World Championship race weekend at the fast and technical Motorland Aragon track today.
Rabat was second and just over 0.1s off top spot in FP1 before the Spaniard delivered a stunning record lap of 1.53.164 this afternoon to finish over a tenth inside of the four-year-old circuit best lap set by Marc Marquez.
Nobody has scored more podium finishes in the six-year history of the Moto2 category than Rabat, and his bid for a 32nd top three could not have got off to a better start, with the 26-year-old ending the opening day of practice 0.135s clear of his closest challenger.
Álex Márquez took full advantage of having previously tested at the 3.155 miles Aragon track on a Moto2 bike, and after finishing FP1 in a strong seventh position, he led the early stages of the second session.
The 19-year-old showed why he will play a pivotal role in the development of next year’s Kalex chassis project after he rode a new 2016 frame this afternoon following an initial encouraging run out during a recent post-race test in Misano.
Designed for improved braking stability and turning, Márquez improved his pace by almost 0.7s in FP2 to finish eighth fastest.
Tito Rabat: 1st – 1’53.164
“Today was a really good day. I had a lot of fun riding the bike and I am happy with my pace. It is always good to be on record pace on the first day and the track will only improve and get more grip, so I think it will be a possibility that we can get into the 1.52s tomorrow. I have a good feeling with the bike from the tests we did here and I am confident, so hopefully the minimum we can do is fight for the podium.”
Álex Márquez: 8th – 1’53.806
“I am really happy because I did my best lap time with the hard rear tyre. I have a lot of confidence with the hard option and it was a shame I couldn’t improve on the soft. I tried the soft option but had a problem, but based on my feeling with the hard rear, I know we can improve a lot on the soft and that gives me confidence that I can have a really strong qualifying tomorrow. I’m also happy because I tried some different parts on the bike and there was a big improvement in the braking points. So it was a very positive day.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was a very good start to the weekend for Tito and Álex. Tito was very fast this morning and close to the best pace and this afternoon he showed a true World Champion fights to the very end with a very impressive lap time. He could have been faster had he not slowed on the back straight because he thought somebody was following him. Álex also had a strong start to the weekend. He was trying some updates and he is really pleased with progress. The comments from both are the same, so this is good for the future development. It’s the 100th Moto2 race this weekend and given our success in the past, it would nice to mark this milestone with a win.”