World Superbike rider Tito Rabat made his return to MotoGP today for the Spanish Grand Prix as he replaced the injured rookie Jorge Martin

While Rabat moved across to WorldSBK for 2021 following six seasons in the MotoGP class, his most recent MotoGP race was only last November, making him one of the obvious choices to step-in for the impressive Martin.

And well, it was an interesting day for the Spaniard to say the least as he brought up the rear of the field in 23rd, but suffered a bizarre moment with his leathers opening when crashing at turn 13. 

Nothing was unusual about the crash, but it initially looked like Rabat's leathers had been split open due to the impact and airbag system deploying itself.

Speaking about the crash itself, Rabat said: "To be honest the crash was a very normal crash. You brake, you try to stop the bike and just you lose the front. It is a normal crash when you try to push and to do your best. 

"Until then, for me the day was excellent. But the mistake means that I want to do well, I’m pushing, and of course the range of mistakes here is very small."

Although Rabat has only been away from MotoGP machinery for a short amount of time there were many things for him to try, including the new start devices and new Michelin compound of tyre. 

When asked about this, Rabat said: "With the start, the front goes down, also the rear, then the system for lowering the bike exiting the corner 13 and 5 - also a lot of feelings with the tyres, a lot of differences. But for me it was super good to come back and be 1.4 from P1( First practice session). 

"When I exited FP2 we started with a used hard rear and it was interesting because I don’t feel a lot the spin. I felt much less than last year. And I played, and enjoyed it. 

"After that with the medium in the second run, the team told me to box but I see Quartararo, and I see he go, but not so much from me. I did not push too much, and I say 'one lap more' and then made a mistake.

"After that I just went with the medium front and soft rear and maybe that was not good, but it was very good for tomorrow to bring back the confidence. 

"Now I explained all my sensations well to the team and they are working, and for sure tomorrow if we make a good FP3 for the rhythm, then I’m quite comfortable to stay there."

Rabat’s crash came at turn 13 - Jorge Lorenzo Corner, and when cameras cut to the Spaniard, it seemed as though the impact had ripped open the leathers. 

But speaking to the media afterwards, Rabat called it ‘my mistake’ and that the leathers were not properly closed, whilst also discussing how he can improve heading into day-two. 

"To be honest with the crash, I don’t realise that my leathers opened. After you realise this, you think 'ohh! That was dangerous' you know," added Rabat.

"But I think it was my mistake because I did not close [the zip of the leathers] well and when the airbag opened it opened like this. It’s very strange because this never happened before, so for next time I will close [properly]. 

"For the improvement, I need to flow a little bit more, try to brake hard to the limit in the first metres and put the bike in the good position and go. I want to go faster than the bike wants to go. If I am calm, I will flow more and release the tenths that we missed."

 

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