20 February 2015
Moto2: Rabat finds answers, Marquez improves style
“On the second day we got a lot done with the new bike and found many answers to many questions”
A gearbox problem on the opening day of this week's Jerez Moto2 test caused Esteve Rabat to fall heavily at turn five, leaving the reigning world champion with severe bruising on his left arm.
But the 25-year-old Spaniard brushed himself off and continued working to improve feedback from the front of his 2015 Kalex, eventually ending the test with a best time of 1m 42.392s and third (+0.271s) behind Johann Zarco and Sam Lowes on the timesheets.
“The first day we had a problem with back shifting and I had a big crash at turn five as a result, but on the second day we got a lot done with the new bike and found many answers to many questions,” said the Estrella Galicia Marc VDS rider
“Every day we saw an improvement with the bike, especially the turning, and we came to a lot of conclusions about how we move forward so I'm happy with what we achieved here at Jerez.
“We also saw that a lot of riders are able to run a fast pace, so this year looks like it's going to be more difficult than last year. But, I will continue in the same way; focussing on my own performance and looking for more improvements.”
With two of the three days at the opening Valencia test marred by rain, Rabat's team-mate and reigning Moto3 champion Alex Marquez used the better weather at Jerez to continue his transition to Moto2.
Marquez mainly focussed on reducing his braking distance into slower corners and improving turn in with the heavier 600cc machine.
It was an approach that paid off, with the 18-year-old Spaniard improving his lap time by almost three seconds over the course of the three-days, ending the test 16th on the timesheet (+1.133s).
“Here we made a big improvement with my riding style and also with the lap time, but the most important thing is that I have the bike under more control now,” he declared. “I didn't put together a perfect lap, but I definitely have a better feeling and I'm also more comfortable on the bike, which will be important for the next test. We have more test days before Qatar, so we need to continue working step-by-step, but overall I'm happy with what we've achieved here at Jerez this week.”
Team principal Michael Bartholemy summed up: “After the wash out in Valencia the better weather conditions here at Jerez allowed us to get our pre-season test plan back on schedule. Tito had a big crash on Tuesday through no fault of his own, but that didn't stop him being both fast and consistent while working to improve feedback from the front tyre.
“Alex has made a big step forward with his transition to the Moto2 bike, as the steady improvement in his lap time shows. Overall it's been a very successful test for the team and we're now looking forward to an equally successful third and final test here at Jerez next month.”
The final official pre-season test takes place at Jerez in just under one month.
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