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Rabat secures full-season WSBK seat with Puccetti Kawasaki

Rabat, who made sporadic appearances with Manuel Puccetti’s eponymous squad between 2021-23, will step up to ride the outfit’s sole Kawasaki Ninza ZX-10RR next year.

As part of the programme, the Spaniard will get to take part in two pre-season tests at Jerez and Portimao in January before the championship gets underway at Phillip Island the following month.

The 34-year-old hopes that a full campaign will allow him to deliver the kind of results he is capable of achieving in 2024, having only been called in on a substitute basis on multiple occasions in the last three years.

“I’m very happy to have come to an agreement that allows me to stay with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing,” said Rabat.

“I’ve always had a great relationship with Manuel and the entire team. In the past, I’ve been called upon to stand-in once the season’s been underway, so I’m sure that if I can take part in winter testing and all the races, our results will be better than what we’ve achieved to date. 

“I expect an even more competitive bike and so can’t wait to start my 2024 season!”   

Tito Rabat, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing (Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images)

Puccetti made a big statement by signing 2013 champion Tom Sykes for its one-bike programme earlier this year, but parted ways with the British rider after just four rounds.

Rabat was recruited as Sykes’ replacement and went on to complete the season, only missing the Magny-Cours round to take part in the clashing MotoE championship.

Rabat’s promising performances have now earned him a one-year contract with Puccetti.

“It is with great pleasure that we announce our agreement with Tito Rabat for the 2024 WorldSBK season,” said team boss Manuel Puccetti. 

“We’re very happy to continue to build on this collaboration with such a talented and professional rider, with whom our entire team immediately got on well. 

“Up until now, Rabat has stood in for other riders, without having the chance to complete testing together and so we’re pleased to be able to run an entire season with him in 2024. 

“Our preparation will involve winter tests in January, at both Jerez and Portimao, where Tito will be able to build confidence with a Ninja that will be even more competitive than the 2023 machine, also thanks to updates resulting from concession parts. Our goal will be to regular top ten finishes.”

Former Moto2 champion Rabat first moved to WSBK in 2021 after a five-year stint in MotoGP, joining the Barni Ducati team.

However, he parted ways with the squad after eight rounds, before returning later in the year when Puccetti needed a rider to replace the injured Lucas Mahias.

His brief stint with Barni yielded a best result of ninth at Portimao, which remains his only top 10 finish in WSBK.

A pair of 11th place finishes was the best Rabat achieved during his time at Puccetti, which included three events in 2021, a solitary appearance in 2022 and the majority of the 2023 season.

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