Rabat ruled out by heavy crash at Sepang
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat will not participate in the third and final day of testing at the Sepang International Circuit tomorrow, after crashing heavily at Turn 11 today.
Rabat crashed during the final hour in a day of testing that was heavily disrupted by rain. The former Moto2 World Champion was initially treated at the circuit medical centre before being transported to hospital in Putrajaya for further assessment of his injuries.
Once a full medical assessment has been completed, Rabat will return to Europe for treatment and rehabilitation in a bid to be fit for the next MotoGP test at Phillip Island, which starts on 15th February.
Rabat and Jack Miller arrived for the second day of the MotoGP test to a track left damp by overnight rain. Concerns had been raised yesterday about the speed at which the track dries after resurfacing work was carried out last year. These concerns proved well founded, as riders were forced to sit out the morning session as they waited for the track to dry sufficiently to allow testing to commence.
The two Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders eventually took to the track on slicks shortly after lunch in a bid to get in as many laps as possible, despite damp patches remaining at Turn 9.
Both riders continued the work started yesterday on refining the set-up of the chassis on their Honda RC213V machines and evaluating the three new front and one new rear tyre from Michelin, with positive results.
Tomorrow's third and final day of testing also looks set to be disrupted by the weather, with rain showers forecast throughout the day at the Sepang International Circuit.
Jack Miller: 21st – 2'01.557 – 56 Laps
“Despite the delay due to the weather today was pretty positive. I improved my lap time compared to yesterday, even though that wasn't what we were working towards. During the first half of the afternoon we focused on improving the feeling with the front before moving on to testing for Michelin, which was really good. There were definitely some positives with the new front tyres they've brought to this test. We still have more tyres to test, but we simply ran out of time.. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off tomorrow and have the chance to throw down some lap times too.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“This is not the start to testing we were looking for, as Tito will not be able to ride tomorrow after his big crash at Turn 11 today. He is still in the hospital in Putrajaya undergoing a thorough examination, but what we know so far is that he has a lacerated left knee, injuries to two of the toes on his left foot and pain in his right wrist. Once these injuries have been fully assessed he will return to Europe for further treatment and rehabilitation. The delay due to the weather this morning wasn't ideal for any of the teams. As we saw last year at the race, this track takes a long time to dry since being resurfaced and that cost us track time today. The good news is that it looks like they have a solution to the problem, so we can expect an improvement when we return for the race in October.”