Rabat takes charge as rain disrupts opening day at Mugello

Rabat takes charge as rain disrupts opening day at Mugello

Mugello, Italy – 30 May 2014: Moto2 World Championship leader, Tito Rabat, ended the opening day at Mugello at the top of the timesheet, after the onset of rain disrupted this afternoon’s second Moto2 free practice session.

Rabat set the fastest time right at the end of this morning’s 45-minute first session, which was held in cool but dry conditions. This afternoon the Spaniard, who celebrated his 25th birthday last Sunday, focussed on finding a good feeling with his Kalex Moto2 machine in both mixed and completely wet conditions.

The rain ahead of this afternoon’s second free practice session meant that Mika Kallio was unable to confirm changes to his set up, after finding it too stable and difficult to turn in the chicanes this morning. The Finn was third fastest in this afternoon’s wet session, but ended the day 11th on combined times.

A lack of feedback from the front of his Kalex-KTM Moto3 machine here at Mugello meant that Livio Loi endured a tough opening day, which he finished in 28th position. Loi will make significant changes to his set up tonight, in the hope of finding an improvement in the final free practice session tomorrow morning.

Tito Rabat // 1st // 1’52.860
“We made a very good practice in the dry conditions this morning, but I expect a lot of riders will also improve tomorrow. This afternoon the session started with the track half wet and half dry, so initially I focussed on the wet parts. At the end we had more rain and the track was completely wet, which allowed me to work on improving my feeling with the bike in these conditions. Overall, I’m happy with our progress in both sessions today.”

Mika Kallio // 11th // 1’53.788
“We started with the same set up as in Le Mans and we knew there was a good chance we’d have to change things. The bike was just too stable, too comfortable, which meant it was difficult to get it to change direction, which is crucial here at Mugello. The plan was to go with a more agile set up this afternoon, but the weather put paid to that. My time in the mixed conditions early in the second session was good, but the confidence in the full wet conditions wasn’t like last year. There didn’t seem to be much grip from the rear, which is something we need to think about. We could always go back to the same settings as last year, but we’re not keen to take such a step back after the progress we’ve made with the set up this season.”

Livio Loi // 28th // 2’00.640
“The feeling with the front of the bike just isn’t there. When I turn in to the corners there is literally no feedback from the front tyre, so I have no idea how close to the limit I am. It doesn’t feel like the front is going to close, the problem is that I don’t feel anything from the front at all. This is a big problem, as I have no confidence in the front now. We need to find a solution, because I’m losing time everywhere, but the biggest loss is through Arrabbiata one and two. The bike is running wide in the first part of the turn, which means I have to wait to get on the gas and can’t carry speed into the second part. I’m probably losing close to a second there on every lap.”