Confidence high as Rabat and Márquez head to the Dutch TT
Gosselies, Belgium – 22 June 2015: Reigning Moto2 World Champion Tito Rabat heads into this weekend’s Dutch TT at Assen confident that he can fight for his second win of the season, after completing a successful two-day test at the Motorland Aragon circuit last week.
Assen is one of only two tracks on the calendar – the other being Sachsenring – at which Rabat hasn’t stood on the podium since moving up to the Moto2 class in 2011. It is a situation that the Team Estrella 0,0 Marc VDS rider is keen to rectify this weekend, as he looks to close the gap to current championship leader, Johann Zarco, who he trails by 40 points.
Rabat will be hoping for a slightly less stressful Assen weekend than the one he endured 12 months ago when, after qualifying on pole position, he crashed on the sighting lap and only a delay due to rain allowed the team to get his bike repaired ready for the race, which he finished eighth.
Last year was a different story for Álex Márquez, who crossed the line almost three seconds ahead of his Estrella Galicia 0,0 teammate to claim his second successive win of the season in the Moto3 class. This year the 19-year-old heads to Assen with his confidence buoyed by a strong showing in Barcelona, followed by a successful two-day test at Motorland Aragon and looking for a top ten finish in Saturday’s 24-lap Moto2 race.
With the Dutch TT traditionally held on the last Saturday in June, free practice for the Moto2 class gets underway at 10.55 on Thursday 25th June.
“The next two tracks on the calendar – Assen and Sachsenring – have never been amongst my favourite circuits, which is probably why they are the only two on the calendar at which I’ve never finished on the Moto2 podium. However, if I’m to retain the championship then I need to be just as fast at these tracks as I am at the others, so that is the aim this weekend. We put in the work during a successful test at Aragon, with very positive results, so I head to Assen feeling confident. Like always, we will work hard in every session this weekend, to ensure we’re in a position to fight for the win in the race on Saturday.”
“We did a good job in Montmeló, improving with every session and finding a clear direction in which to work with the bike and we confirmed this during the test in Aragon. In Moto2 qualifying has been difficult this season, because I haven’t been able to find the half-second or so I need on a new tyre. This was an area in which we also made progress during the Aragon test and I’m now feeling more confident about my qualifying performance. I like the Assen circuit; I won in Moto3 there last year and, while I’m sure it will feel different on a Moto2 bike, I’m looking forward to returning. If I can qualify on the front three rows on Friday then I think we could be in for a good race on Saturday.”