Spanish rider Tito Rabat will stand in for injured Lucas Mahias on the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Ninja ZX-6R at the eleventh Superbike World Championship round, taking place this weekend at the Autodromo do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal. The Frenchman has fractured the scaphoid in his left hand, an injury sustained in a crash during race 1 at Assen. Despite having undergone surgery, the fracture is still causing him pain, which means that Kawasaki Puccetti Racing, in agreement with Kawasaki, the Dorna medical staff and the rider himself, have decided that he will not race, so that he can fully recover from his injury.
Tito Rabat was born in Barcelona on 25 May 1989, and began racing in 2004, in the CEV 125 series, before moving to the world championship category in 2006. During the 2011 season, he raced in Moto2 and, over five years spent in the intermediate category, he scored twelve race wins and 33 podiums, earning the title of world champion in 2014. He moved to MotoGP in 2016 and stayed there until the end of last year, when he decided to move to World Superbike, where he has completed 24 races and accumulated 38 points.
Tito Rabat: “I’m very happy to have this great opportunity. I know the Portimao track as I’ve raced here with the MotoGP and trained at the circuit with a road bike. I hope to have a good weekend, score good results and demonstrate my potential. I want to thank Manuel Puccetti and the whole team for offering me this chance, which I hope to fully exploit.”
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing had its best Supersport weekend of the season at Jerez, scoring pole position and second place in the race with Philipp Oettl. A sixth-place finish for young Can Oncu, a rider who continues to grow and mature, only confirmed the competitiveness of Manuel Puccetti’s riders and bikes.
Like at Jerez, Kenan Sofuoglu will be back with Manuel Puccetti’s team at Portimao, taking to the track to bid farewell to “his” Supersport era and welcome in that which will begin in 2022. On Friday only, the Sultan will climb back on the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R of the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing to take part in the two free practice sessions.
“The Portimao track is a tough one, but I like it. Last year, I didn’t achieve the desired results, but with the help of my team, I’m sure we can score good results. It will be important to work well on Friday and find a good set-up for my ZX-6R right away, but overall I’m confident ahead of the Portuguese round.”
“We will see how things go at the next round of Portimao. It is a very difficult track, but they resurfaced it last year, so I think it’s a little bit less bumpy now. I hope so at least and am feeling quite positive as we head there. We will take things race-by-race now, although I thought we could win the race at Jerez last weekend. Portimao is a completely different track from Jerez.”