Kallio and Rabat dominate Indy qualifying
Indianapolis, USA – 9 August 2014: Mika Kallio and Tito Rabat dominated today’s Moto2 qualifying session at the revamped Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the Marc VDS Racing Team celebrated an eighth pole position in 10 races.
Finnish rider Kallio clinched his second pole position of 2014 with a brilliant early lap of 1.36.883 that left teammate and World Championship leader Rabat trailing in second by 0.173s.
Only one other rider could lap within 0.5s of Kallio’s blistering speed, though Rabat’s quest to claim a seventh pole position of the campaign ended in painful fashion with less than 10 minutes of qualifying remaining.
The Spaniard, who holds a 19-point advantage over Kallio heading into tomorrow’s 25-lap race, fell heavily but unhurt at turn 8. He was still able to comfortably secure a vital front row start courtesy of an earlier lap of 1.37.056.
Marc VDS Racing newcomer Jorge Navarro staked a claim for outstanding performance of the season in the earlier Moto3 session after he stormed to a sensational top six position on the grid for the 23-lap race.
The Spanish rider was almost 1.5s faster than his practice pace and he finished just over 0.5s behind World Championship leader Jack Miller with a lap of 1.41.248.
The 18-year-old’s sixth place is easily the best Moto3 qualifying result since Marc VDS Racing entered the competitive category at the beginning of 2013.
Mika Kallio // Pole Position // 1’36.883
“Today was perfect because I didn’t expect to be challenging for the pole position on a track where I’ve never had really good results. But this year I have been much more competitive and I am happy with my preparation for tomorrow because my race pace is not too bad. We just need to see the conditions because the new surface is coming better each day and maybe tomorrow the lap times will be even faster. This can have an impact on the setting of the machine, so we need to pay attention to that. I also need to say a big thanks to the Marc VDS Racing Team for the work they did. Yesterday was very difficult and I wasn’t even in the top 10, and now I am starting from pole position. So they deserve a lot of credit and I am looking forward to a good battle with Tito.”
Tito Rabat // 2nd // 1’37.056
“It was not an easy qualifying session, so I am happy to be starting on the front row with Mika. I have been happy with the performance of the tyres on the new asphalt all weekend, but a bit like in Assen, the tyres didn’t work as well as we anticipated in qualifying. I am confident we can find a solution but the big crash at the end finished my session. Thankfully I am not injured and I am confident I can challenge for the win tomorrow.”
Jorge Navarro // 6th // 1’41.248
“I am so happy to qualify on the second row because honestly I really didn’t imagine a top six was achievable considering this is only my second day with the team and I have no experience of the bike or the track. The Marc VDS Racing Team has done an unbelievable job to help me adapt quickly and each time I go out on track I improve. I am strong on the brakes and there are some hard braking points here and this is helping and I have a lot of confidence with the Kalex KTM package. My objective tomorrow is just to learn as much as I can from the best talent in Moto3 and gain some experience. I don’t know how the bike will be in the race because I’ve not done 23-laps together but the goal is to finish.”