Tito Rabat’s grin stretched ear-to-ear when detailing his final day of MotoGP testing in 2017 at Jerez, where he put Ducati’s GP17 through a race-distance run, which led him to conclude, ‘This bike is unbelievable!’

The 2014 Moto2 world champion ended Thursday’s full day of testing seventh overall, just seven tenths of a second back of pace setter Andrea Dovizioso’s best time.

Aside from a small crash at turn one, Rabat found most of the GP17’s characteristics to his liking. Only after 22 laps did he find his performance dropping away, an aspect to contemplate over the winter months.

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“A very positive day,” exclaimed the Catalan. “I enjoyed it a lot, especially in the morning. We tried one long run but I lost the focus because of the new buttons [on the handlebars]. I touched the button, and crashed at turn one. We tried again with a bit more cold but even like this it was good.

“We had a very good pace, very good rhythm for the race distance, except for lap 22. I have to work a lot to finish the race. This bike is unbelievably good. It’s super competitive in all the areas. The team also. Me, I’m in a good performance now. Where we have to work is finishing the races and everything will be OK.”

Expanding on how he can aid performance in the latter stages of a race run, Rabat offered, “It’s a question of opening the gas in a smooth way, keeping the tyre cool and learning to open the gas smoothly. That’s it. I have to work with the mapping guys. This is the question. Of course fitness has to improve, but I’m OK.

“To make a fast lap, the electronics work so well, and you can open it like an animal. But to make a long run, a race distance, you have to manage well the gas. If you don’t manage the gas well, everything can go bad. But if you manage it well it can be very good. It’s a really big difference.”

Rabat has also been pleasantly surprised by the machine’s turning agility, a trait that has been so often condemned by factory riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo.

“The bike for me is not heavy [when changing direction],” Rabat said. “It’s quite good. Everything is good. The only thing is what I say - work on the race distance. On used tyres it’s quite nice, quite smooth. The agility, if you ride in the direction of Ducati, the bike is also agile. I just need to ride it like a Ducati and everything will be good. “

An area of the machine that has really stood out is the Ducati’s electronics set-up. Asked which area was an improvement over the machine he rode during the past two seasons, Rabat said, ‘Everything!’

“The anti-wheelie system; the engine brake; everything! Also, I think the character of this bike is better for me. We need to speak again in Qatar. I can only speak for the moment. But my best time here with the Honda is a 1m 40.95s. Today I make 1m 40s all the time. I make a 38.3 alone. It means this bike is better.”

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This is from the guy who was completely written off after 2 years on a Honda. Miller is saying the same as well. Goes to show what s great job Marquez has done over the last 2 years. Put him on the Ducati and you would see domination like 2014

You can be pretty sure that hasn't gone unnoticed at Ducati, when it's taken most of a season for Jorge to get up to speed but Tito and Jack are instantly fast. Could they outbid Honda ?

That is why KTM boss was clear if Marc fails it’s the bike to be blamed. 

put marc on a ducati ane will never finish a single race forget about championship or race win

Marc is not Flopsy who never won a race on a Ducati despite being paid 12 million euros and despite recieving Stoner's 3 race winning bike from 2010 that never finished below 5th. 
Also the competition at the time apart from 3 Hondas and 2 Yamaha bikes were CRT bikes that finished over a minute behind the other teams. And yet he finished behind SC58 who had 5 retirements. 

Ha ha! Ya right, if MM was on the VDS Honda of JM or TR he would be eating gravel most races. He is riding a well sorted Repsol factory Honda compliments of CS, look what CS did in 2011 & even DP was fighting for the title in 2012 whilst CS had more or less retired handing JL the title, in 2012 he didn't have the fight in him.

I find your comment humorous if nothing else!

@V46R

I dont usually comment often, but you sir have no clue on what you are talking about. Cal and Miller had the exact same bike as MM. They actually tested a chassis first which was usued by MM and DP. One thing we all know for sure, is that VR probably cost MV the championship by requesting a new chassis during the year.

MAG1697

And you shouldn't comment if you think the satellite Marc VDS Honda is the same as the Repsol Factory Honda!! 

If that's the case the Tech 3 Yamaha is the exact same Spec as the Movistar Yamaha's. Ffs! You must be a troll!

And you hate VR, I get it! Good for you!!!

Just to let you know... Satellite bike for MARC vDS... yes but Miller was on HRC contract and was rising same bike as MM

Cal and miller gets the same bike as the factory riders. Cal himself said that you moron. There is nothing to hate. flopsi is an overblown overrated average rider who got lucky with pathetic competition and tailor made tyres. When that was taken away, he objectively has the worst record of any top rider on a factory machine. soon to be overtaken by dovi. His last back to back victory was 8 YEARS AGO. How pathetic can you get?

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