Welcome Tito Rabat! Today, on the Jerez track, the Spanish rider's new adventure in World Superbike got underway. It would have been nice to see the Iberian immediately in action with the Panigale V4, but unfortunately the weather changed the day's plans (read HERE), since all the Superbike riders remained in the pits.
Rabat therefore took the opportunity to indulge in the traditional ritual photos with Barni colours, get to know the team members and at the same time exchange a few words with Michele Pirro. Finally he gave us a few minutes for a few comments about this second life in the racing world.
Barnabò's team has gambled heavily on him and consequently Tito wants to repay this vote of confidence in him.
“This is my first day as a Superbike rider - the Spaniard began – it’s a shame about the rain, but let's try to be optimistic in view of Thursday. For me it is a completely new way even if, at first contact, this paddock seems familiar to me with a lot of passion for racing. I am happy, smiling, but above all motivated for this new adventure ”.
Was there a pinch of emotion for this new adventure?
“As I said I am relaxed and serene. During the winter I worked a lot and I'm here to do my best. So let's see what our potential will be starting from tomorrow and then throughout the season ”.
After two years, Superbike finds itself with a MotoGP rider once again. What should we expect?
“I honestly don't know. In the last two years I have not been able to show my true potential in MotoGP, because those results did not correspond to reality. I am a young rider who needs to race and at the same time to show everyone what I am capable of ”.
The last MotoGP rider to join SBK was Bautista, who won 11 races in a row with Ducati…
“I'm not Bautista, I'm Tito Rabat and I still don't know what I can do in this paddock. For sure, as I said, on my part there will be the maximum effort to try to win and do some good races, which did not happen in MotoGP. There I didn't have the material to be up at the front and fight with the best, while here I do”.
Everyone says that the Ducati V4 is a kind of MotoGP street bike. Could this experience facilitate your approach with the new bike?
“I'll find out starting tomorrow. Speaking with my crew chief these days, he told me that with the V4 you need a style between 250 and MotoGP. I think I'm a rider with a smooth style and as a result I hope to do well ”.
You leave MotoGP after so many years. What will you miss about that paddock?
“MotoGP has been a good journey, since I had the opportunity to fulfil my dream, which was to race in the top class after winning the Moto2 World Championship. Unfortunately, in recent seasons, it had become very frustrating to race in MotoGP and I didn't feel good where I was. In fact, my goal was to be up at the front fighting with the best and I am convinced that SBK is the right place to try to do it ”.
We know you're great friends with Mir. In 2021 the toughest challenge awaits him, that is to reconfirm his title win...
"Exactly! Joan is a rider like few others, he is impressive in my view. Mentally he is always at the top and he never loses heart. I am convinced he has a future ahead of him".
In your place there will be Marini in Avintia. What do you expect from him?
"I am focused on Superbike, as a new path for me begins here and I have to be at my best".