Dominant Rabat makes it three in a row at Misano
Misano, Italy – 14 September 2014: Tito Rabat extended his lead in the Moto2 World Championship standings to 22 points, with his seventh win of the season at Misano this afternoon. Mika Kallio gave the Marc VDS Racing Team their third successive, and fourth of the season, one-two finish by coming home a safe second.
Starting from pole position, Kallio had a lead of over a second at the end of the first lap, with the pursuing pack being hauled along in the slipstream of his Marc VDS teammate, Rabat.
The 25-year-old Spaniard eventually managed to shake off his rivals and then, in a carbon copy of the Silverstone race, started to close the gap to the race leader. With Kallio struggling with a drop off in grip from the rear tyre, Rabat eventually caught and passed the Finn with just nine laps to go. As soon as he was ahead, Rabat got his head down and managed to pull away to take the win, with Kallio trailing him across the line just over two seconds later.
The Misano win means Rabat becomes only the third rider in the history of the Moto2 class to win three races in succession, the other two being former Moto2 World Champion Toni Elias and reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez.
Jorge Navarro bounced back from two disappointing races in Brno and Silverstone this afternoon, adding to his points tally from Indianapolis with a hard fought 15th place in today’s Moto3 race at Misano.
Tito Rabat // Race Winner
“I’m happy to leave here with a win, because it hasn’t been an easy weekend. The rain on Friday lost us time and it was difficult to find a good dry setting for the bike in only two sessions on Saturday, but the team did a great job. I got a good start in the race, but not as good as Mika. He was away like thunder and his first few laps were unbelievable. But I managed to hold then close the gap, but very slowly. It was hard, not just physically but psychologically too, as it’s difficult to maintain focus when you’re on your own. Once I caught him I had a quick breather, before passing him when he made a mistake into turn four. Then I pushed until the end, as he did too, but I managed to pull away for the win. We did a good job this weekend, but it’s a long way until Valencia, so we need to keep focussed and keep working.”
Mika Kallio // 2nd
“We know we have an advantage for the first five laps, so the plan today was the same as for Silverstone; to get away at the front and then manage the gap. Today after five laps I knew Tito was coming. First he matched my times then he started taking a few tenths each lap, so I knew it was going to be like the last few laps at Silverstone. This time, however, I was sure I could hold him off, but I made a small mistake at turn four and he went through. I could match his lap times, but then I had a big moment at turn six and he pulled a gap. I chased hard for two laps and was closing once again, when the rear grip just suddenly disappeared. It was strange, because it was so sudden. After that there was no way I could catch him and I had to settle for second. Not what I wanted, but now we must find something so that we can reverse the situation in Aragon.”
Jorge Navarro // 15th
“After two races with no points, to be back in the points here at Misano is a positive for us. My feeling with the bike wasn’t good in Silverstone and then here we lost the two sessions on Friday to the rain, but we made a step forward on Saturday, which was good for my confidence. In the race my confidence was improving more with every lap, but then I made a mistake on lap six and lost contact with the second group. I pushed hard, but I couldn’t catch them and I ended up in a big fight with Khairuddin and Antonelli, eventually finishing in the last points scoring position.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“The workload here at Misano this weekend has been hectic, but today’s results make it all worthwhile. Mika did what he had to do to try to win, but he just didn’t have the rear grip left to see off another determined effort from Tito today. It was an impressive performance by both riders and, for the fourth time this season, we saw them occupying the top two steps of the podium, alongside the man who makes it all possible, Marc van der Straten. It doesn’t get much better than that! Jorge also had a good race today, recovering some of the confidence lost at Brno and Silverstone with a points scoring finish here in Misano.”