Today.Az » Sports » Avintia Ducati signs Rabat for 2018 MotoGP season
08 September 2017 [14:36] - Today.Az
MotoGP privateer team Avintia has announced the signing of Spanish rider Tito Rabat for the 2018 season, according to motorsport.com.
Rabat, 28, will ride a Ducati Desmosedici GP17 for Avintia next year, making the switch after two years aboard a Marc VDS Honda bike.
He finished was 21st overall in his rookie campaign last year, and currently sits 18th in the 2017 standings.
“I’m very happy to sign with Reale Avintia Racing and to race with Ducati in 2018,” Rabat said.
“I think we have done a good job in two years with Honda, but I’ve reached a barrier that is hard to break through and that’s why I think that it is time to change.
“Now I have a new opportunity to demonstrate that I can be fast and competitive in MotoGP. I’ll be racing in a team that I know since my childhood and with a bike that I think will suit my size and my style to perfection.”
Rabat has a lot of history with the Avintia outfit as he had represented the team over much of his career in the 125cc class, as well as his rookie Moto2 season in 2011.
The Spaniard eventually dominated the Moto2 category with Marc VDS in 2014 and moved up to premier-class grand prix racing a year later.
“Tito is like a son for me,” team boss Raul Romero said. “He rode his first race for me in the Spanish Championship and he made his debut in the world championship with my team. During his career, he raced in several teams, but always comes back home.
“I’m convinced that this will be the pinnacle in his career and that we’ll achieve great results together with Ducati.
“Tito is a hard worker and this was his secret to become Moto2 world champion. Next season he will ride a Desmosedici GP17, a bike that is on top of the classification with (Andrea) Dovizioso and that has been extremely competitive this year.”
Rabat had been among the six riders named by Romero as candidates for his team's two 2018 seats back in August.
It’s understood Moto2 rider Xavier Simeon is favourite to join Rabat, although incumbent pair Loris Baz and Hector Barbera both remain in with a chance of staying.