Tito Rabat took advantage of a Grand Prix held under difficult conditions to gain experience and reach the top ten for the first time in MotoGP. In Moto2, Franco Morbidelli once again nearly made it to the podium.
For his second Grand Prix in the premier class, Tito Rabat got more than he asked for, with difficult conditions during the practice test sessions as well in the race, a Grand Prix held in two phases with the riders being forced to change bikes mid-way … “It allowed me to learn and garner a lot of experience,” noted with satisfaction the former Moto2 champion world, who managed to stay on his wheels to finish ninth. “I fought it out with Crutchlow and Smith and I experienced my first Grand Prix “flag to flag”. The result makes me feel more confident about the next race in Texas.” Hunger for a place on the podium getting the best of him, Jack Miller made a mistake in the third lap when he tried to escape the clutches of Jorge Lorenzo, the reigning world champion. In Moto2, Franco Morbidelli once again fought for the podium from start to finish, but just after taking second place, the Italian fell on the last lap. Alex Márquez also took a tumble in the first lap.
Scoring seven points in Argentina, Tito Rabat remains at the fourteenth place in the MotoGP standings. Jack Miller has moved down to seventeenth position. In Moto2, Morbidelli has slipped back to eleventh place, and Alex Marquez has yet to add a point to his counter.
As was the case on the Phillip Island circuit in Australia in 2013, the Argentine Grand Prix was raced this year in two phases. Instead of twenty-three laps, the race was reduced to two times ten laps, the riders being forced to stop between the ninth and eleventh lap to change bikes. The decision was taken for safety reasons after the rear tyre problem encountered by Scott Redding during the practice test sessions. Normally, the riders should have run the entire race using the spare tyre that the manufacturer is obliged to provide under such circumstances, but the rain on Sunday morning preventing them from testing it and a makeshift solution had to be found.
“It helped save the Grand Prix in acceptable conditions, for both the teams and the public,”
noted Nicolas Goubert, Technical Director of Michelin Racing.
“No Compromise” was the keyword for the Kawasaki riders in the first race of the season in Australia. Jonathan Rea won both Superbike races and Randy Krummenacher took the chequered flag first for his debut in Supersport.
Since the twin-win by Carlos Checa in 2011, no other rider had managed to win the first two races of the Superbike season. Jonathan Rea seemed delighted about succeeding the Spaniard, if only to show that the World Championship title he won last year has not affected his appetite for success. The Kawasaki rider made a masterful return to the saddle. “I think our winter strategy paid off,” admitted Rea. “We developed the bike the way we wanted, and I think we are still far from achieving its full potential. I was patient in both races, avoided making mistakes and kept the others under control, in particular Chaz who was very fast.” At the forefront in the early laps, Tom Sykes had to settle for a fifth and a sixth place. “We tuned the bike well between the two races,” said the Brit, “But I was a bit unlucky and lost time with Giugliano. I rode very well for the first ten laps, then a little less.” In Supersport, the two Kawasaki riders were the leaders of the pack together, with Kenan Sofuoglu in the lead until his rear tire burst three laps from the finish. Randy Krummenacher who was riding hard on his heels seized his opportunity to win his first race on the ZX-6R.
With such a perfect start, Jonathan Rea has taken a comfortable lead in the Superbike Championship. The reigning world champion left Australia with a 14-point lead over Marc Van der Mark. Tom Sykes has taken the sixth place in the standings with 21 points. In Supersport, Randy Krummenacher is in the lead in front of Italian Caricasulo. Kenan Sofuoglu will have to wait for the next race in Thailand to open his points counter.
First Race, Fine Reaction. For his first race in World Supersport, Randy Krummenacher managed to win with style on the circuit of Phillip Island. It looks like the former Grand Prix rider who raced last year in Moto2 has very quickly adapted to his new discipline and his Kawasaki ZX-6R. “I couldn’t have wished for a better start to my new career in Supersport,” said the 26-year old Swiss rider and teammate this season with Sofuoglu, the reigning world champion. “It was a great feeling even if Kenan’s fall made the task easier. But the race was very difficult with the rain continually playing with our nerves. I felt great on the bike. All I need to do is keep feeling that way.”