Heroic ride ends in disappointment for Rabat
Sachsenring, Germany – Sunday 12 July 2015: Tito Rabat rode an heroic race at the Sachsenring today, racing through the pain barrier only to be cruelly denied a podium finish when he was brought down in the final corner by Franco Morbidelli.
Rabat had just snatched third place from the Italian as they headed up the hill towards the final corner on the last lap. The pair touched in the middle of the track and Morbidelli then lost the front as he tried to force his way up the inside of the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider.
The Italian’s bike cannoned into the side of Rabat, who was left with no escape route. The two bikes and riders then continued into the gravel trap, where the reigning Moto2 World Champion’s race ended.
It was a sad end to what had been a brave and determined effort by Rabat. Sachsenring is the only circuit on the calendar at which he hasn’t finished on the Moto2 podium and it will remain so only because of another rider’s error.
Rabat’s recently fractured collarbone was undamaged in the crash, although the impact loosened two of the screws that were inserted just seven days ago. These will be replaced tomorrow and the reigning Moto2 World Champion will be fully fit when he returns in just over three weeks for the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Álex Márquez finished 18th after a difficult weekend for the rookie rider. The reigning Moto3 World Champion had two crashes yesterday and knew that he was facing a tough task in today’s race, which he started from 24th position on the grid.
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider dropped to the back of the field after making contact with another rider on the opening lap. From that point onwards Marquez showed good pace but could only come through to finish 18th.
Álex Márquez: 18th
“We had bad luck this weekend because we had two crashes and it meant that I didn't have a good rhythm on the first lap. I had some contact with another rider and I ran wide but I think that we worked well today. We have to improve a lot but I think that our rhythm means that it’s possible to finish between tenth and fifteenth. Indianapolis is a circuit that I like and we'll try to do our best there when we return to racing. For the summer break I will spend the first week in France where I’ll be doing some road cycling.”
Tito Rabat: DNF
“I didn’t get a great start, but I was able to improve my position in the early stages, despite getting involved in a big battle with Corsi and Kallio as I tried to chase the leading group. I had some pain in my shoulder in the hard braking areas and in my back through the first part of the track, bur once clear I was able to chip away at the gap to the front, to get a little bit closer with every lap. Eventually I caught Morbidelli, passed him for third and was lining myself up to get the best drive out of the final turn when he crashed and took me with him. We were in a difficult position this weekend, but I think we did a good job overall and for that I have to thank the team. Now I have some time to recover so that I’m back at full power for Indy.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It’s a shame because Tito rode such a great race, only to lose out on a podium finish because of another rider’s mistake. He has impressed me once again this weekend; I know his injured shoulder is painful, but he’s ridden with the same determination as always and not allowed it to slow him down at all. Today he rode a clever race; conserving his strength until the final stages and then finding a way past Morbidelli on the final lap. The last lap was always going to be a battle, but he took third place with a clean pass only to fall victim to an overambitious move in the final corner. It’s been a difficult weekend for Álex, but one where I hope he’s learnt a lot. He was unfortunate to get pushed off track on the opening lap, but he did well to fight his way back up through the field. Indianapolis is a track he likes a lot, so I’m confident we will see a big improvement from Álex there.”