2014 Moto2™ Champion Rabat returns to WorldSBK with Puccetti Kawasaki for 2023

Thursday, 25 May 2023 10:03 GMT

Spanish rider Tito Rabat will return to the WorldSBK grid from the Emilia-Romagna Round, linking up with the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team again

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship grid will have a slightly new look to it at the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round albeit with a familiar face as Spanish rider Tito Rabat makes a return to the grid at Kawasaki Puccetti Racing. The 2014 Moto2™ World Champion will link up with the team again after racing with them in 2021 and 2022 as he replaces Tom Sykes, who left the team recently and re-joined the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team on a temporary basis.

The 33-year-old will once again ride for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing squad for the third time in his career, having done so previously in 2021 and 2022. The 2014 Moto2™ World Champion  qbrings a wealth of experience to the team from his time in the MotoGP™ paddock as well as in domestic Superbike championships, having claimed the title in his native Spain in 2022.

Rabat made his WorldSBK debut in 2021 with the Barni Spark Racing Team but he split from Barni Ducati after just a handful of rounds, claiming a best result of ninth in Race 1 at the Circuito Estoril. His split from Barni Ducati came after the French Round in September but he was back in WorldSBK very quickly as he returned with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing for the final few rounds of the season, replacing Lucas Mahias, taking a best result of 11th in Race 1 at the Circuito San Juan Villicum on the ZX-10RR.

In 2022, Rabat competed in the Spanish Superbike championship with Honda as well as making a one-off appearance in British Superbikes, again with Honda. He claimed the Spanish championship title with two wins and 12 podiums, and he also returned to WorldSBK with Puccetti Kawasaki as a replacement rider for Mahias, who was suffering from injury. He did not score points on his return to the Championship at Misano, which was only his first round of the 2022 campaign on the world stage, finishing in 16th place in Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race and 17th in Race 2.

Before he joined WorldSBK, Rabat took third place in the Moto2™ World Championship in 2013 and 2015 with his title coming in 2014. He has 13 wins in the MotoGP™ paddock, all coming between 2013 and 2015. He moved to MotoGP™ for 2016 and scored a best Championship position of 19th in 2017 and 2018. For 2023, Rabat returned to the MotoGP™ paddock to compete in the MotoE™ World Championship for the full season. He is also competing in the Spanish championship this season and has two wins to his name, both coming at MotorLand Aragon in April.

Discussing his return to WorldSBK and Puccetti Kawasaki, Rabat said: “I’m pleased to return to Team Puccetti and Kawasaki. This is a great opportunity for me to return to WorldSBK but also keep up the race pace, because this year I’m competing in MotoE™ where there are not so many races. I’ll try to make the most of this opportunity and help Manuel Puccetti’s team as they continue to develop their bike. I want to have fun of course, and give it my all, but also complete all the races in order to collect as much data as possible. See you all at Misano!”

Team Principal Manuel Puccetti added: “I’m pleased to announce the return of Tito Rabat to our team. In both 2021 and 2022, the Spaniard was tasked with standing in for an injured rider, which is never easy, and he raced without having chance to test, so without knowing our bike. Despite that, Tito always proved to be the consummate professional, with significant experience under his belt in both the Moto2™ and MotoGP™ Championships. It will be a pleasure for us to have him back in the team for their home round at Misano, where our goal will be to continue developing the bike and try to improve on the results scored thus far.”

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