First podium finish at Assen for on form Rabat
Assen, The Netherlands – 27 June 2015: Tito Rabat secured his first ever podium finish at Assen with a hard fought second place in today’s restarted Moto2 race at the Dutch TT.
Having taken the lead from the start Rabat had it all to do again when the race was stopped after Luis Salom’s bike dropped oil in turn one following a crash. The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider got away cleanly from the restart, but had to work hard to catch early race leader, Jonas Folger.
The 26-year-old Spaniard smashed the lap record as he chased down the German, eventually passing him for the lead at half race distance. With three laps to go championship leader Johann Zarco joined the fight at the front and it was the Frenchman who eventually took the win, after a bruising battle between the two riders.
Álex Márquez was also involved in a titanic battle throughout today’s shortened 16-lap race, trading places with Mika Kallio until a mistake in the closing stages allowed the Finn through to take eighth place at the finish. Ninth place for Márquez equalled his best result since he stepped up to the intermediate class as the reigning Moto3 World Champion at the beginning of the season.
Tito Rabat: 2nd
“I made a very good start and was in third position and trying to catch Jonas, but then I touched with Johann, which lost me some time. Once I caught eventually caught Jonas I tried to pull a gap at the front, but it wasn’t possible because today Johann was a little faster than me. Second is good and I'm happy with the work that the team are doing and also I think that my performance is good. I'm pleased to get with my first podium at Assen but now we need to do our best at Sachsenring to close the points gap to Johann.”
Álex Márquez: 9th
“I'm happy with the race but I think that we could have done a little bit better. I started well; that was a positive because I've not started well in other races, but then I tried to overtake some riders and I lost some time. With three laps to go I made a mistake, the bike hit a neutral and Kallio passed me. Without that I think that eighth would have been possible. We need to improve our qualifying but also the feeling from the front in the middle of the race so that we can maintain our lap times over the full race distance.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was a nice race and I think that it's what everyone wanted to see. Tito fought hard with Johann and at the end of the day it’s always good if you finish first, second or third. I'm happy to have another podium and I think that we've been back there at the front with Tito for the last few races and that's always good. It was also a nice race from Álex; he was near to the leading group and fighting with Kallio who has a lot of experience in Moto2. In the last two laps he was able to get ahead if Álex but I'm happy to have him in the top ten.”