Front row for Rabat in Qatar qualifying
Losail, Qatar – 28 March 2015: Defending Moto2 World Champion Tito Rabat will start the opening race of the season from the front row, after qualifying his Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex in 3rd position in Qatar this evening. Reigning Moto3 World Champion Alex Marquez will make his Moto2 race debut from the fourth row of the grid after qualifying 12th tonight.
With preseason testing virtually washed out by the weather, Rabat is still adapting to the 2015 Kalex on which he will defend his title, as well as refining the set up of the bike to better suit his riding style. While the 25-year-old Spaniard admits that both Sam Lowes and Johann Zarco are strong here in Qatar, he remains confident that he has the pace to fight for the win in tomorrow’s 20-lap Moto2 race.
Marquez acquitted himself well in his first ever Moto2 qualifying session, posting his fastest lap during his first qualifying run, to end the session in 12th position. The 18-year-old Spaniard is confident that he can improve on his qualifying position in tomorrow’s race, although it will be a step into the unknown for the Moto2 rookie.
The opening Moto2 race of the 2015 season gets underway under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit at 19.50 local time tomorrow.
Tito Rabat: 3rd – 1’59.813
“Lowes and Zarco had a good rhythm and were very strong in qualifying but, anyway, I’m happy with the work we’ve made together as a team today. We have the new Kalex, not the previous bike and we’re working from zero because of the bad weather during preseason testing. Yesterday we made another step forward; in fact, every practice we’ve found some improvement and my feeling has been better, especially in the faster corners. Tomorrow I need to make a good start to the race and then fight until the end!”
Alex Marquez: 12th – 2’00.604
“I was looking to finish a little closer to the front of the grid today, but I’m more or less happy with the result in my first Moto2 qualifying session. I think we’ve done some good work here in Qatar this weekend and we still have tomorrow’s warm up session to try a few more things, both with the bike and with my riding style. I learnt a lot behind Tito, so for tomorrow I think we will be in a position to make up places in the race. This will be my first Moto2 race which means there are a few unknowns, like with the tyre and the full fuel load at the start, so it really is a race for learning for me.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Tito is never happy unless he’s the fastest rider on track, but he’s done a good job this weekend, on a bike that isn’t yet set up how he likes it due to the bad weather during preseason testing. He will be there at the front tomorrow, fighting for the win, but at this stage in the season we’ll be happy enough if he finishes on the podium and picks up as many points as he can. We saw in Moto3 last year that the race brings out the best of Alex Marquez and I expect to see the same tomorrow in Moto2. It will be a new experience for Alex racing in Moto2, especially with so little testing time under his belt, but he’s proven a quick learner and I’m confident we’ll see him finish inside the top ten on his race debut for the team tomorrow.”