Ex-MotoGP rider Rabat, Delbianco get Kawasaki call-up for Misano WorldSBK

Ex-MotoGP rider Tito Rabat and CIV Italian Superbike runner-up Alessandro Delbianco land Kawasaki seats for the Misano WorldSBK round

Tito Rabat

Ex-MotoGP rider Tito Rabat will return to the WorldSBK Championship grid for this weekend’s fourth round at Misano, Italy.

The Spaniard is one of two riders getting a renewed shot at impressing on the international stage this weekend with Alessandro Delbianco also getting a call up.

Rabat will ride the ELF-liveried Puccetti Kawasaki ZX-10RR in place of Lucas Mahias after the Frenchman fractured his hand in an accident during Round 3 at Estoril. 

The 2014 Moto2 World Champion spent five seasons in MotoGP before switching to WorldSBK last season with Barni Ducati, though mediocre results led to a split midway through the year. However, he returned to the grid on the Puccetti bike in place of the injured Mahias for the lattermost events.

“I’m really very pleased to be back racing with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing and I thank Manuel and the whole team for putting their trust in me, at their home round no less, which I know is very important for them. 

“I’m highly motivated and fully committed. I hope that the weather is good and that we can enjoy a weekend that will be challenging but also wonderful. I can’t wait to get back to work with the team, after getting on with them so well last year.”

Delbianco, meanwhile, will be back on the grid for his home round as the latest hire for the Pedercini Kawasaki outfit. 

While BSB front runner Leon Haslam was originally announced as riding in Misano, Suzuka 8 Hours commitments mean the seat has gone to Delbianco. The Italian contested a full season of WorldSBK in 2019 with the Althea MIE Racing team, scoring a best finish of ninth, while he was the 2021 CIV Italian Superbike Championship runner-up.

 “I am happy to return to the WorldSBK paddock - I have a lot of nice memories there. I’m 24 years old this year with a lot more experience than when I first raced in the World Championship, and I am maybe more ready and more prepared now. 

“It’s very important for me to return in Misano because it’s my home. I will only need to learn and understand the team and the bike, not the circuit because I already know very well the layout.

“It should therefore be easier for me than if I was making a wildcard in another country. I am happy and positive that together with the team we can make a good result and am positive for the weekend.”