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Rabat reflects on brilliant day in Shanghai

Rabat reflects on brilliant day in Shanghai

Making his first appearance at the Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday, Respsol Honda's gifted 17 year-old Spanish 125cc rider Esteve Rabat put in a remarkable performance at the Sinopec Great Wall Lubricants Grand Prix of China.

Making his first appearance at the Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday, Respsol Honda's gifted 17 year-old Spanish 125cc rider Esteve Rabat put in a remarkable performance at the Sinopec Great Wall Lubricants Grand Prix of China.

With just two practice days under belt at the Far Eastern venue the teenager from Barcelona took the race by storm, coming from 12th on the starting grid to lead at one stage – before crossing the line third to secure his first ever podium appearance behind race winner Lukas Pesek and second placed Hector Faubel.

Rabat had more than held his own over the final laps, doing battle with the likes of Pesek, Faubel, Gabor Talmacsi, Simone Corsi and Sergio Gadea and even holding the lead with five laps to go, before finishing just 0.481s behind race winner Pesek.

After making his first Grand Prix appearance as a wildcard in Valencia in the final race of 2005, Rabat came into the World Championship permanently last year from the Spanish national 125 CEV championship – in which he was the 2006 runner-up.

Originally due to make wildcard appearances in the three Grands Prix held in Spain last season, Rabat was selected as Honda's replacement for Aleix Espargaro when his fellow Spaniard moved up to 250cc midway through the campaign, and ended up representing the team in the last 10 Grands Prix of the year.

This season he disappointingly crashed out on first lap in Jerez in front of the Spanish fans, but put in solid performances in Qatar and Turkey where he finished 8th and 14th respectively to amass 10 points, before his superb 16 point haul in China.

Once the action in China had concluded Rabat commented: "I just couldn't believe it when the race was over and I still don't really know what I'm feeling. During the race I only thought about moving forward and nothing else. I felt very comfortable, but I was a bit tired towards the end and I lost the two leading riders. I didn't want to settle for third, but I made a few mistakes and they went away."

"Every time I put myself behind another bike, I was able to pass them if I managed to get out well of the corners before a long straight, because the bike worked really well. The tyres also worked well and even if the bike was skidding a bit towards the end and I had a few frights, I was able to have the situation under control and continue pushing. I always thought that the top riders are from a different world, but now I know that they are just like me."

Tags:
125cc, 2007, SINOPEC GREAT WALL LUBRICANTS GRAND PRIX OF CHINA, Tito Rabat

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