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Ponsson replaces Rabat at Misano

Frenchman will ride for Reale Avintia Racing as the injured Tito Rabat continues his recovery, with Simeon taking the GP17

Christophe Ponsson will be the replacement rider for Tito Rabat in this weekend’s Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Rabat, who crashed in FP4 at Silverstone and suffered multiple fractures to his leg when collected by another bike, underwent surgery in the UK before returning to Barcelona to continue his recovery – but it’s not yet known when he’ll be back. So at Misano, it’s Frenchman Ponsson put on duty - but he'll be on teammate Xavier Simeon's bike as Simeon rides Rabat's GP17 machine and the team re-organise for the race.

Born in 1995, the young Frenchman has come through STK600 and STK1000 before racing in WorldSBK in 2015. The following year he took a podium in the final round of the FIM CEV Repsol Superbike Championship and raced in the FIM STK1000 Cup on a Kawasaki, as well as competing in the French national Superbike Championship in both 2016 and 2017. Currently, Ponsson rides in the RFME CEV Superbike Championship.

"I'm super happy and excited, I'm really eager to get on the bike," says Ponsson. "Racing in MotoGP is the dream of any rider and I still can't believe that on Friday I'll be out on track with the riders I watch from home every weekend. I always try to learn from them on TV and now I can do it on track. I'm happy, I'm 22 and this opportunity is something incredible. I know it'll be difficult and I will have to learn many things in a very short time; the bike, the carbon brakes, the Michelin tyres, but I am willing to enjoy and learn. I'll try to give my best on the bike and I hope to reward the team and all those who have helped me to fulfill my dream."

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Rabat's recovery: the Spaniard gives some updates on his injury