Former Moto2 World Champion Tito Rabat says he is looking to develop an affinity with his Marc VDS Racing Honda during the first MotoGP test at Sepang ahead of what he admits will be a challenging maiden season in the premier class.
The Spaniard is the sole rookie amongst the 2016 line-up, Rabat stepping up to MotoGP after five seasons in Moto2, where he has accumulated 13 wins and clinched the 2014 title.
Graduating with the Marc VDS team he won that Moto2 title with, Rabat accepts he has a 'steep learning curve' ahead of him but with the control ECU and the return to Michelin tyres, he is relishing the challenge.
“I'm looking forward to getting back to work in Malaysia. The aim of the first test is simple; to get back the feeling with the bike and tyres after a break of more than two months since the Valencia test. Sepang is also another opportunity to continue improving the communication and the way I work with my new crew after such a good start in Valencia.
“If I can improve my feeling and my confidence with the bike with each exit in Sepang then I will leave the first test of 2016 satisfied. I'm facing a steep learning curve this season, so I need to take profit from all nine days of testing before racing gets underway in Qatar.”
Team manager Bartholemy is also convinced Rabat will adapt to MotoGP with aplomb, but says it is satisfied to see him develop during the Sepang tests, rather than post eye-catching times.
“We know from working with him in Moto2 that Tito has a very controlled and methodical approach to testing and I think that will serve him well as he continues his transition to MotoGP.
“We're not looking for a massive jump in performance from Tito in Sepang, but rather a steady improvement as he starts to understand the capabilities of the bike and the tyres better. He has a lot to take in, as Sepang will be the first time he tests the bike with the control ECU and the unified software, but I'm confident that he will take it in his stride.