Rabat rapid in the rain as Jerez wash out leaves Marquez frustrated
Jerez, Spain – 19 March 2015: While other riders were bemoaning the rain that disrupted all three days of the final preseason test at Jerez, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat took advantage of the conditions to hone his wet weather performance.
The reigning Moto2 World Champion completed more than 120 wet laps over the course of the three-day Jerez test, as he worked to improve his feeling with the Kalex Moto2 machine and Dunlop tyres in conditions that ranged from damp to fully wet. The 25-year-old Spaniard had just set the second quickest time on the final day when he crashed at turn four.
The bike was damaged beyond repair but Rabat walked away from the crash with just cuts and bruises, together with a new found confidence in wet conditions that could serve him well during the defence of his World Championship title.
For Alex Marquez the Jerez test proved a wash out. The reigning Moto3 World Champion needed dry track time to continue his familiarisation with the Kalex Moto2 machine he’ll campaign this season, but the inclement weather meant that the 18-year-old Spaniard completed only 31 laps over the course of the three days in Jerez.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS now head for Qatar and the opening round of the Moto2 World Championship, which gets underway with the first race of the 2015 season on Sunday 29th March.
Tito Rabat – 7th – 1’45.868
“I know many riders were not so happy with three days of rain here in Jerez, but for me the conditions were perfect. To race in the rain you need to test in the rain, and we certainly got plenty of chances to do that this week! On the first day the feeling wasn’t so good, but the second day was a little bit better and today we made a big step forward in what were definitely the wettest conditions of the three days. Instead of being two or three seconds behind the riders who are always fast in the wet, now I’m much closer and, in many cases, faster. So, overall, I’m happy with what we’ve achieved during this test, despite the crash today. I’ve turned what was a weakness in my armoury into a strength. Now I know I am fast in the dry and the wet.”
Alex Marquez – 19th – 1’47.805
“The weather here in Jerez couldn’t have been worse for us. For the first two days the track was neither wet nor dry and the only time it was even close to fully dry the session was red flagged. In those conditions you learn little, but you risk a lot, so it just wasn’t worth taking the chance with us being so close to the first race in Qatar. Today was completely wet, but it’s not wet track time I need. I need track time in the dry as I adapt to the Moto2 bike and this has been in short supply during all three preseason tests. It’s not the ideal preparation for my Moto2 debut, but it’s been the same for everyone, so we’ll all be in the same situation when we get to Qatar next week.”
Michael Bartholemy – Team Principal
“If Tito had a weakness last season then it was his performance in the wet, but I think the rain holds no fear for him anymore. This year he’s had the chance to master the conditions, as rain has been the only constant at all three of the preseason tests in Valencia and Jerez. But, while the conditions have been good for Tito, the opposite is true for Alex, who needed as much dry track time as possible as he makes the transition from Moto3 to Moto2. I know these past three days have been frustrating for him, but he is mature beyond his years and hasn’t let the lack of track time faze him at all. We now head to Qatar with one rider looking to start his title defence with a race win and the other determined to mark his Moto2 debut with a strong showing. I am confident that both are more than capable of achieving their respective goals!”