Rabat returns to action in Qatar
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat will return to action during this week's third and final MotoGP preseason test at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
Rabat was forced to sit out the recent Phillip Island test due to injuries sustained in a heavy crash at Sepang in Malaysia at the beginning of February. The Spaniard suffered a distal fracture of the radius, a fracture of the fifth metacarpal in the right hand, a fracture to the distal phalanx in the right foot and a severely lacerated left knee in the turn 11 crash.
The former Moto2 World Champion has completed an extensive four-week rehabilitation program and is looking forward to resuming his preparations for the 2017 season this week in Qatar.
Jack Miller heads to Qatar looking to build on yet another successful test in Phillip Island, where the 22-year-old Australian finished inside the top ten and less than a second from the top spot.
Miller will test with the latest evolution engine in his Honda RC213V for the first time in Qatar and the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider is confident that this will allow him to close further the gap to the current frontrunners ahead of the opening race of the season, which will take place at the same circuit on Sunday 26th March.
“The last four weeks have been all about rehabilitation, working with the physiotherapist to recover from the injuries and also the surgery. I am still not back to full fitness but I'm fit to ride and although we'll need to take the injuries into account in Qatar, this won't stop us from enjoying a productive test. This test isn't about pushing for a lap time, it's about working with my crew, rebuilding my confidence with the bike and ensuring we are as well prepared as it's possible to be when we return to the Losail International Circuit for the first race of the season.”
“I'm feeling really good after the tests in Sepang and Phillip Island and I'm looking forward to carrying that momentum into the final preseason test in Qatar, where we'll be testing the latest specification Honda engine for the first time. It's been a good preseason so far; we've found some improvements and, step-by-step, we've managed to go faster, finishing inside the top ten last time out at Phillip Island. Now we're heading into the final test before the season gets underway and the aim is simple; to make sure we're fully prepared for when the lights go out for the first time in 2017.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“We will be happy to see Tito back on the bike in Qatar, after what has been a difficult period of rehabilitation for him. We're not expecting him to be fully fit, as his training has been limited by the injuries and also by the antibiotics that were necessary to fend off infection in his knee. However, he is confident that the injuries are sufficiently recovered to allow him to test and we will of course monitor his physical condition closely throughout the three days. Jack heads to Qatar buoyed by two successful tests in Sepang and Phillip Island and keen to test the latest specification engine from Honda for the first time. He has made significant progress since testing resumed at the end of January and I'm sure we'll see this trend continue during these three days in Qatar.”