Rabat sets scorching hot pace in boiling Brno
Brno, Czech Republic – 14 August 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat battled the most extreme conditions experienced so far in the 2015 Moto2 World Championship in Brno today to top the opening practice timesheets.
A draining heat wave in the Czech Republic saw ambient temperatures peak at 33 degrees for FP2, while sizzling track temperatures hit close to 50 degrees to make finding grip the main focus for Rabat and teammate Alex Marquez.
Rabat excelled in the physically and mentally demanding conditions to set a best lap of 2.02.714, which was within 0.4s of the Spaniard’s own lap record he set on his way to winning the 2014 Brno race from pole position.
Marquez too was in impressive form this afternoon and the 19-year-old was able to drop his lap time by close to a second compared to his best pace in marginally cooler conditions this morning.
A personal best time of 2.03.717 put Marquez in 12th place but he was less than half-a-second away from the top six, as he made excellent progress in setting up his Kalex machine for the slippery track conditions.
Tito Rabat: 1st – 2’02.714
“The conditions today were very difficult because it was so hot but I don’t mind riding in this heat. I train a lot on the bike at Almeria in Spain where it can be even hotter than this, so I know I am physically and mentally prepared for this extreme weather. I am happy to be fastest but not completely satisfied with the set-up of the bike and I know we can improve tomorrow.”
Alex Marquez: 12th – 2’03.717
“Brno is a very difficult track because it is long and technical, so you need all of the first session to learn it. The position in FP1 was not so good but I knew I could improve a lot in FP2 and I did because I was around the top 10 for the whole of this afternoon. It is only Friday but I am happy with my own performance and really happy with the work of the team because the bike worked well in challenging track conditions. The temperature is really hot and you can feel it on the bike, but when you are 100% concentrated on the track you don’t think about it.”
Naoya Kaneko: Alex Marquez Chief Engineer
“The extremely hot weather meant the track conditions were not easy, so considering how low the grip was it was a very good start from Alex. He finished only one second slower than Tito, who is already faster than he was on Friday at least year’s race, despite the heat. We need to find 0.5s to be higher up but Alex was very consistent today and he could lap closely to his best pace for many laps. He can improve his lines in T2 and T3 but that comes from experience and I am optimistic that he can qualify inside the top 10 for the first time tomorrow.”