Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) had an impressive weekend at the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina. Qualifying fourth on Saturday – after impressing in Free Practice – was a great confidence booster for the former Moto2™ World Champion, and backing that up with a career best seventh on Sunday meant Rabat could leave Termas with a good feeling.
Speaking after the race, the Ducati rider looked back on a successful Grand Prix. “I feel very good, we did a very good job over the weekend, we were fast in the dry and also fast on wet tyres on a dry track. In the wet this morning it was a little bit more difficult but in the race, we made a normal start, then I could stay a little bit with the front group but after, they went.”
Muy contento! Mi mejor resultado en MotoGP: P7! ????#ArgentinaGP#ForzaDucati— Tito Rabat (@TitoRabat) April 8, 2018
Very happy with this 7th position, my best result in @motogp!
Great job team!@realeavintia@IxonCom @AraiEurope @alpinestars @infisport @joyeriarabat pic.twitter.com/t0wDjdfVyr
Rabat goes onto explain his thoughts when Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and teammate Maverick Viñales then passed him in the early stages of the race. “I stayed with the second group, Valentino and Viñales passed me and I tried to follow but it was not possible because I was close to crashing. I said 'Tito, calm, try your best’ and we pushed until the end. It was a hard race because I had to push push push, and it was very close.”
The 13-time Moto2™ race winner gained some valuable experience by following some of the frontrunners, learning a great deal. “After you’ve been in the front group, you see a lot of things that you can tell them because it’s things you normally don’t see. I learned a lot in the race having seen the front guys and I’ll try to improve for the next one.”
This was Rabat’s most successful weekend in his MotoGP™ career so far after a more difficult first two seasons, and the Spaniard seems to have settled in well to his new team and new machine. “I like this bike, I like this bike and my team a lot.”
Reale Avintia Team Manager Raul Romero praised Rabat after the race. "We’re very happy. Tito started fourth, it wasn’t actually that much of an advantage starting fourth because the grid was unusual with Miller…but he had a great race."
Romero revealed he wanted to sign the Moto2™ World Champion, however Rabat wanted to ride on a Honda instead. "When he moved up to MotoGP, I wanted him to move up with us. He didn’t do that because he was in a different team and he thought the Honda was the best bike, having always been looking at Marquez as the example. I told him he wasn’t going to get Marquez or Pedrosa’s bike and that he was more a Ducati rider. It took him a while to realise!”
Romero continued, “I believe in Tito 100%, that’s why I chose him. It’s the third time he’s come home, and whenever he comes back we get good results. He’s a rider who responds a lot to the atmosphere in the team, we have a family atmosphere. He’s aiming high, our goal is to get a podium, and be in the top ten overall at the end of the year."
The Reale Avintia rider will now aim to replicate this strong performance when they head to the Circuit of The Americas. Is another top ten on the cards?