Rabat sets fast pace in Argentina
Termas de Río Hondo, Argentina – 16 April 2015: Reigning Moto2 World Champion and Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider, Tito Rabat, set an impressively fast and consistent pace to end the opening day of practice at the Termas de Río Hondo track in Argentina in fourth position on the timesheets.
Track conditions were far from ideal in this morning’s FP1, with a lack of grip the main issue. But Rabat was less than 0.1s outside of lap record pace on his way to setting the second fastest time.
The Spaniard, who dominated last year’s Termas de Río Hondo race from pole position, improved his pace by 0.6s in FP2, but dropped back to fourth on the combined leaderboard.
Once again, Alex Marquez’s position in 19th on the timesheets didn’t reflect a positive first day from the Moto2 rookie, who made huge progress this afternoon with a lap of 1.44.305 that was 1.2s quicker than his FP1 benchmark.
The 18-year-old was just over a second off Johann Zarco’s record pace and he ended FP2 just over 0.5s outside of the top six.
Tito Rabat: 4th – 1.43’431
“We’ve made a good start on a track I really like. This morning the track wasn’t perfect but we still managed some good times. I knew this afternoon with more grip and a cleaner surface that we could go quite a bit faster. I’m happy with my pace but we still need to work on front and rear grip to improve. The top four are split by less than 0.2s, so it could be an exciting battle for pole and also in the race.”
Alex Marquez: 19th – 1.44’305
“The position doesn’t look so good but when you consider I am just over a second behind Zarco, I have to happy with our performance today. We have worked in a really good way and gone in the right direction with the bike setting, so I could push and trust the bike and feel more in control. My race rhythm is good too and I am only 0.5s off the top group, so I am competitive over a longer distance. Qualifying will be important tomorrow because I think we could stay in the top 10 in the race.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Tito has done a really good job today. He was second this morning and was always challenging for the top three in FP2, so we are already confident that he can battle for the pole and victory double again here in Argentina. I am really happy with Alex. When you see him 19th it doesn’t look anything special, but he is less than 0.5s off the top 10 and one second behind Zarco, who beat Tito’s pole record by 0.7s today. So the pace is fast and Alex looks strong and his confidence is growing.”