It was a bittersweet post-race MotoGP test for Tito Rabat at Jerez, the Avintia Ducati rider improving both his qualifying and race pace, but knowing 'the test doesn't count' for points.

The Spaniard finished a disappointed 14th in the race, his worst result of the season, not helped by being left 17th in qualifying and then suffering a poor start to the race.

At the test he completed a race simulation in the mid-to-low 1m 39s, plus some '38s, while also working hard to improve his feeling with the clutch. Rabat set the seventh fastest lap time, 0.574s from test leader Johann Zarco.

“This was a very positive test and we got very good conclusions," Rabat said.

"I have improved my qualifying lap time and we did a fast race simulation. But although all this makes me very happy, inside I feel a great disappointment for not having been able to do it yesterday in the race, because the test doesn't count.

"I also spent lots of time practicing starts; at least I’ll be able to maintain my position, because we can’t lose so much in the starts. Now I’m thinking about Le Mans where I hope to be fighting again in the top ten."

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Team-mate Xavier Simeon was ranked 16th at the test and 1.990s from Zarco as he focussed on riding position with his two-year-old GP16 machine.

“We have no new parts to test with this bike, so we focused on trying new things to improve my feeling," said the Belgian rookie. "We changed my position on the bike and we have seen positive things, much better than during the race weekend.

"I have also worked a lot to change my riding style, but didn’t improve as much as I would like to. But we must be patient because it is a long process and every time I go a little better.

"I do not want to push myself, but it is clear that I would like to be much faster."

In addition to Tito Rabat and Xavier Simeon, in team gave a MotoGP debut to Andorran rider Xavi Cardelus, who made his first grand prix appearance as a wild-card n the Moto2 class on Sunday.

Cardelus set a best time of 1m 45.040s on the last of his 42 laps, putting him 5.3s from Simeon and 7.3s from Zarco.

“In just a few days I had many emotions together," said Cardelus, who qualifying 31st and finished 22nd in the Moto2 Grand Prix.

"First my debut in the Moto2 World Championship, and I think that it went quite well. And today testing the MotoGP bike was just amazing. I’m very happy and I don’t have words.

"I was surprised how fast is the bike, it’s incredible, but the biggest impact for me was acceleration. The carbon brakes are also interesting, they work in a very different way from what I’m used to, but I liked the feeling.

"It is also a bike that needs to be ridden in a very special way, in 40 laps I tried to adapt my style, but it was not easy. I want to thank Raul Romero and the entire Reale Avintia Racing team for this opportunity and I hope to repeat it in the future."



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