As we announced, Tito Rabat is preparing for a new adventure in the Superbike world championship, where he’ll line up with team Barni’s Ducati. We spoke over the phone with team principal Marco Barnabò to ask him what convinced him to bet on Tito Rabat.
“It was in the air for a while, since we realised that Tito couldn’t stay in MotoGP. They proposed him to me mid-season, and I immediately liked the idea, because I think a rider coming from MotoGP is facilitated in SBK, the bikes are less powerful, the tyres are easier to manage. On paper, it’s a more advantageous situation, as many of his predecessors have shown, from Bautista to Redding. Tito is a rider who can do well in WorldSBK, and this is important”, Barnabò tells us.
Rabat, in effect, said he was very disappointed he no longer had a ride in MotoGP.
Passionate like few others
What’s Tito Rabat like?
“I think that, of all the riders I’ve ever known, he’s the one who most considers riding to be his life, and he trains every day. When I called him to come here, he was riding his MX bike in Andorra. I asked him ‘when are you leaving?’ and he said now, ‘Now’. He loaded his bike in the van, washed it at a carwash along the way and came here.
“I like him because he puts in the work to do well, he has a mentality like mine, with the awareness that you have to work to achieve a goal.
“And he’s a great guy too, I met him at the last WDW, where he raced with the V4 and then we’ve been talking for a couple of months.”
Has he already left again?
“Yes, he lives in Andorra, where he trains with all the MotoGP riders. He was very happy because we’ve given him a prepped Ducati V4 S, with performance similar to that of the bike we use in the CIV, so he can start training right away. The first tests will be at Jerez in January, with all the Superbike teams”.
A message of seriousness
What’s the goal for 2021?
“Simply to do all I can to help Tito ride as he wants”.
Paolo Ciabatti was also present for the signing of the contract.
“I was pleased, his presence consolidates the collaborative relationship between my team and Ducati. They suggested I field Rabat, who was without a ride, and they believe he can do well. I struggle to evaluate how competitive a MotoGP rider is, but I trust in them, just as Ducati has often trusted in me”.
How would you sum up 2020?
“I’m pleased we were present at all the races, after all the problems we had with the riders, with Leon Camier hurting himself, then Marco Melandri… I fielded Cavalieri and Matteo Ferrari, to show we were serious. I could have used the excuse that we had no rider, no one forced me to replace them… I spent a lot and didn’t see results, because if you field several riders, the points are dispersed, but I didn’t want to stay away or leave my team members at home. I wanted to show everyone that we are serious”, concludes Barnabò.
Translated by Heather Watson