Rabat back on track in Qatar
09 Mar 2017 - 22:39
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat will return to action during this week's third and final MotoGP preseason test, set to get underway today at Losail International Circuit.
Rabat, who crashed at Sepang, Malaysia in the first preseason test, was forced to sit out the recent sessions at Phillip Island due to injuries sustained in Malaysia. The Spaniard suffered a distal fracture of the radius, a fracture of the fifth metacarpal in the right hand, a fracture to the distal phalanx in the right foot and a severely lacerated left knee when he crashed at Turn 11.
The former Moto2 World Champion has completed an extensive four-week rehabilitation program, including an initial stay in hospital to ensure against infection, and is looking forward to resuming his preparations for the 2017 season this week in Qatar.
Commenting on the task ahead, Rabat said: "The last four weeks have been all about rehabilitation, working with the physiotherapist to recover from the injuries and also the surgery.
I am still not back to full fitness but I'm fit to ride and although we'll need to take the injuries into account in Qatar, this won't stop us from enjoying a productive test. This test isn't about pushing for a lap time, it's about working with my crew, rebuilding my confidence with the bike and ensuring we are as well prepared as it's possible to be when we return to the Losail International Circuit for the first race of the season."
His team-mate Jack Miller heads to Qatar looking to build on yet another successful test in Phillip Island, where the Queenslander finished inside the top ten and less than a second from the top.
Miller will test with the latest evolution engine in his Honda RC213V for the first time in Qatar and he is confident that this will allow him to further close the gap to the current frontrunners ahead of the opening race of the season.
Miller said that he is also looking forward to keep up the pace at Losail Circuit.
"I'm feeling really good after the tests in Sepang and Phillip Island and I'm looking forward to carrying that momentum into the final preseason test in Qatar, where we'll be testing the latest specification Honda engine for the first time," Miller said.
"It's been a good preseason so far; we've found some improvements and, step-by-step, we've managed to go faster, finishing inside the top ten last time out at Phillip Island. Now we're heading into the final test before the season gets underway and the aim is simple; to make sure we're fully prepared for when the lights go out for the first time in 2017."