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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