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Eyes on Tito Rabat’s Misano Replacement – Is He Fast Enough?


As Tito Rabat (Ducati) recovers from a horrifically severe leg injury suffered two weeks ago at Silverstone during the now infamous wet practice that caused many riders to crash due to aquaplaning, his Reale Avintia Ducati Team has brought 22-year-old Christophe Ponsson in as a replacement for the Misano weekend.

Who is Ponsson? This is precisely the question asked by Marc Marquez (Honda) during a press conference earlier today.  Ponsson is a former WSB back-marker now racing in the Spanish Superbike Championship. He has never ridden a MotoGP bike before, and Marquez, Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and other MotoGP regulars question whether it will be safe for him to be on the track with faster riders this weekend.

Ponsson has a lot to learn in a few short practice sessions before qualifying Saturday afternoon and racing on Sunday, as he acknowledges in this quote:

“I’m super happy and excited. I really want to get on the bike. Racing in MotoGP is the dream of any rider and I still can not believe that on Friday I will be on track with the riders I see from home every weekend. I always try to learn from them on TV and now I can do it on the track! I am happy! I am 22 years old and this opportunity is something incredible. I know it will be difficult and I will have to learn many things in a very short time, the bike, the carbon brakes, the Michelin tires, but I am willing to enjoy and learn. I will try to give my best on the bike and I hope to reward the team and all those who have helped me to fulfill my dream”.


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8 Comments

  1. Fred says:

    He came dead last at number 23 + 1 lap. Thankfully he finished further towards the top than some other riders who retired, not to see the checkered flag.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What’s the problem? At the end of Friday practice, he’s already fast enough to make it onto the 2nd row. Of Moto2.

  3. fred says:

    It’s a great opportunity for 1 rider, and a huge risk for all the rest. With rain forecast for some of the sessions, it is definitely a case of being thrown in the deep end.

    Hopefully it will work out.

  4. TF says:

    MM is suddenly the safety police? That’s rich. I agree with Cal…..it’s great to see the guy get the opportunity.

  5. GuzziNJ says:

    Marquez SHOULD be concerned. This guy was brought in to be a rolling roadblock to help the Italians win on their home circuit. Ducati riders and maybe Rossi will be safe but others will need to lap him with extreme caution.

  6. DucDynasty says:

    Good Luck Christophe! As a Spanish Superbike racer and former WSB back-marker, he just needs to stay upright and out of the way. That said…..we never know, do we?