First 125cc, then Moto2 (where he won the world title in 2014), then MotoGP and now SBK: Tito Rabat has had a rich and varied career and the 32-year-old has decided to throw himself back into the fray by accepting the call from Ducati and Barni Racing to race in the production-based series. Today he will start his first SBK weekend in Aragon and to inaugurate it Tito participated in a live broadcast of GPOne (you can find it above) in which he answered our questions and those of our readers.
The first concerned the move from prototypes to production-based bikes.
"Changing was a bit of a difficult process, in the first tests I struggled a bit, but slowly I got better and better - he explained - In the last test in Navarre I managed to be competitive, which is my goal. As for the environment, races are races, the team works like a MotoGP team. We have 3 races for the weekend and I like that, I'll tell you the negative side on Sunday (laughs) ”.
Is there a lot of difference between a MotoGP bike and an SBK?
“SBK comes from a road bike, the chassis is much softer and the same goes for the tyres, a MotoGP bike is much stiffer. The biggest difference is in the braking phase up to corner entry, where a MotoGP bike is much faster, also because it has carbon brakes. But over a flying lap, with qualifying tyres, the SBKs don't go much slower, but a lot depends on the circuit ”.
And from a physical point of view?
“Riding a MotoGP bike is physically harder but, technically speaking, going fast is just as difficult. The bike moves around more, so you play more with it. When you go fast with a MotoGP bike you feel safer, because the rubber sticks to the asphalt, while in SBK you dance around (laughs) ".
Do you really feel the difference in terms of engine between the Panigale V4 SBK and the MotoGP?
"It doesn't go much slower than the Desmosedici, it has a smoother delivery but it's not another world".
What do you expect from this championship?
“I came here to have fun, having the same weapons as the other riders. Logically I’m going to have to suffer, but the goal is to fight for the positions that matter. We will see what happens, but I am confident it will go well. I'm excited and fit and Ducati is helping me ”.
There is a Marc Marquez also in SBK, his name is Rea.
“Johnny is a ‘one-off' rider, he is at a very high level. However, I haven't seen him on the track in testing yet. I think he's the man to beat, certainly, and he's in great shape”.
Let's talk about the other opponents: Redding.
"Scott is a very fast rider, racing in BSB has given him a lot of experience".
“I didn't test with him, it will depend a lot on how the Honda goes. He will certainly be strong ”.
Are you amazed at the level of the riders in SBK?
“I had no doubts that it was high, any rider now trains like a professional in all the World Championships. In SBK the riders are very well prepared and have a lot of experience ”.
Do you still train with Mir?
"Two or three years ago I started training with Joan, we both live in Andorra: he is crazier than me, every day he wants to go riding, so I like him (laughs)".
What do you think of this start of the championship in MotoGP?
“All the riders are strong and all the bikes are good, you need to use your head a lot, even more than before. Every day it becomes more difficult and exciting, everyone is fighting to win, I watch the races more than before. The team that works best and the smartest rider will win ”.