Tito Rabat believes he is showing the form that carried him to a grand prix world championship aboard the Avintia Ducati GP17 after ending Wednesday as the sixth fastest MotoGP machine at a private test at Jerez.

Following on from the flashes of potential shown at Valencia last week, Rabat found he could make fast lap times at will and, crucially, alone as he spoke of the Ducati’s strength under braking and accelerating.

While keen to consider his speed of the day with caution (Rabat was just over half a second off pace setter Andrea Iannone’s best), the Catalan stated, “It’s because I have the tools to do it, not because I change.”

“A very good day! I enjoyed it a lot,” said Rabat. “We tested a couple of things; the wings; the pivot. Everything is clear – what I like, what I don’t like. We tested also the tyres. I’m happy because I went fast and I’m enjoying again on the bike, like I haven’t for a long time.

“The very positive thing was I made my lap time alone. I go, exiting from pit lane, pushed and boom! No waiting for other people. I’m happy with the bike, my team and myself. The character of the bike is good; the braking, braking stability, wheelie and acceleration system. Middle corner speed also. Of course, everything needs to improve.

“But the important thing now is that I am enjoying. I pass a very nice day, worked very but the important thing to remember is many riders go fast, stay good and arrive to Qatar not good. The important is to improve tomorrow, know better my crew chief, my team and try to get a better connection. And focus on riding. It’s a long way to Qatar. It’s a long time until then.”

Pressed on how long it was since he last enjoyed riding a grand prix machine as he had today, Rabat said, “To be honest, some races, especially in Valencia I made a little bit this style. But just Valencia. For the moment, I tried the bike in Valencia and it was good. I did all this [riding] style also.

“For me it’s much more complete. I come back to being the Tito from Moto2. But it’s because I have the tools to do it, not because I change. It’s because I have the tools. I am strong and I can do it. We will see during the season.”

On sampling Ducati’s radical aerodynamic fairing, Rabat added, “For me there are no negatives. It’s all positive. When I put the wings it’s like another bike. I like much more. It’s unbelievable, a very calm bike. For the moment it’s perfect.

“It depends on the rider. Lorenzo is much more smooth. Dovi is also smooth, but in another way. He brakes, stops, turns and goes. Lorenzo is more of a flowing rider. Me?

“Maybe I’m in the middle, no? Not this extreme flow and not this stop and go. But the rider has to change depending on the situation, the bike, the year… Everything is changing and you have to take profit. For me, in my opinion the wings are better. We will see at the next tracks.”


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It's good to see Tito showing his speed again, he never really got the hang of the Honda, like others.

Honda will give you the very best if your the n.1 rider and that's it the rest has to deal with it. I think it was an huge mistake for Morbidelli going to Honda MM vetoed MV in the HRC team so Franky will never have top machinery. Rabat was a great rider lost the title to Zarco thanks to some issues but was always as fast or faster so he has the speed and great to see him back again.

Funny How riderd coming from a Honda (as some mention the best bike on the grid) and step on the desmo (some mention an unrideble pig) actually feel much better! 

As you fail to mention, or maybe you don't understand, there is a massive difference between the Repsol factory Honda and the Satellite Honda's. Everyone Barr Pedrosa won on a Full Factory Repsol Honda straight away. Fuck me how many titles would VR have if he had stayed with Honda, double digits probably.. Satellites are just guineas!! For factory boys in my opinion.

And the Ducati is a totally different motorcycle now, hell it's practically built by Audi.

No, its built by Ducati.

And yet they really struggle moving from Yamaha to Ducati.

Lorenzo didnt light the world on fire but he did lead a ton of laps, podiumed, and is regularly at the sharp end of tests and practices now.  I wouldnt say it was too huge of a struggle, only moreso because everyone placed huge expectations on him, including himself.  

Also Dovi came from Yamaha to go to Ducati did he not?

Wasn't instantly fast either.

How about Bautista, Aprilia to Ducati... He was probably the most invisible rider of the current season and went from 82 points in '16 to 75 in '17.

And he claimed in January that '16 Ducati is "For me, of all of the bikes I have ridden, I think the Ducati is well balanced". Really?