Tito Rabat backed up his fourth on the grid start with a MotoGP best of seventh place in Sunday's Argentina MotoGP.

The new Reale Avintia rider finished just half-a-second behind factory Ducati star and Qatar winner Andrea Dovizioso, riding the latest GP18 machine.

“It was a great weekend and I’m extremely happy with the work of my team and the performance of my Ducati," Rabat said.

"We did a superb job, third on Friday in dry conditions, fourth in qualifying yesterday and today I scored my best result in MotoGP in a very tricky race.

"Just to finish the race was a success in itself, but being so close to the front was fantastic. It was great to be able to ride in the front group so I saw and learned many things.

"I’m very happy, but this is only the start. We have to continue to work in the same way and keep improving in the next races.”

Team-mate Xavier Simeon had been the highest placed rookie with 17th in qualifying, but was left 21st and last in the race.

“I’m disappointed with the race. I made a mistake after five or six laps on the back straight and I lost contact with the group that was fighting for the points.

"I felt comfortable even though I was struggling with some grip issues getting the bike into the turns and under acceleration. But I braked very hard and with the carbon brakes I did a stoppie and I had to go wide to avoid crashing.

"From then my race was finished.

"But overall I’m happy with this weekend. Yesterday I was the best rookie in qualifying, but today I expected more from the race. We learnt a lesson and now we have to analyse what happened and work harder for the next race."

 

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