Kallio triumphant at Jerez
Jerez, Spain – 4 May 2014: The Marc VDS Racing Team’s Mika Kallio took a lights to flag victory from pole position in today’s Spanish Moto2 Grand Prix at Jerez. After getting boxed in at turn one at the start, Tito Rabat put in a strong race to fourth place in front of his home crowd.
Kallio’s Jerez victory means that the Marc VDS Racing Team have had a rider atop the Moto2 podium in three of the four races so far in 2014, with Rabat and Kallio also first and second in the championship standings and now separated only by 16 points.
For the Marc VDS Racing Team’s Moto3 rider, Livio Loi, the Jerez race was less enjoyable. The 17-year-old Belgian struggled with a lack of grip all weekend and eventually crashed out of the race after losing the front at the ultra-fast turn 12. Loi was uninjured, and is keen to make amends next time out at Le Mans.
Mika Kallio // 1st
“We went into the race with a clear plan; push hard to build a lead at the front in the first five laps while the tyres were good and then manage the gap while conserving the tyres for the rest of the race. The plan worked perfectly. Even so, it was such a hard race, even if it didn’t look that way. I had to stay on the limit for the whole race, because the gap was only around one second and it was impossible to extend my lead any further because Aegerter was pushing hard to catch me. It was a good race and I made no mistakes and that is always good for a rider’s confidence. The win today was a good way to end a great weekend and I’d like to say a big thank you to the team, all of whom did a fantastic job here in Jerez.”
Tito Rabat // 4th
“I’m not so happy with fourth place today, but after the crash on Friday, the engine problem yesterday and a bad start in the race, at least we leave here with more points on the board. It’s important that I’m still leading the championship and all we can do now is head to the next race at Le Mans and look to improve.”
Livio Loi // DNF
“My Jerez weekend was one to forget. All weekend we’ve struggled with a lack of rear traction, with the problem worsening when conditions were hot as they were every afternoon here. Ironically, after struggling with the rear throughout today’s race, it was losing the front that caused the crash in turn 12. It was a surprise, as it’s more of a fast kink than a corner, but I count myself lucky to have walked away from that one. All we can do is try and learn from this weekend and then focus on the next race at Le Mans.”
Marc van der Straten // President, Marc VDS Racing Team
“Standing on the podium with Mika, looking down on the team who had worked so hard to put us both there, made me very proud today. Between them Mika and Tito have dominated so far this season, winning three of the four races to take a healthy lead in the championship. They have both raced superbly, but the results would not have been possible without the backing of a first class team. And that’s what the Marc VDS Racing Team is; first class. That also makes me very proud. I am looking forward now to the next races, where I’m sure I’ll get the chance to stand on the podium again, maybe this time with Tito. Livio has experienced both the highs and the lows of racing in the space of just one week. In Argentina he was on top of the world, but here in Jerez he struggled all weekend. He needs to rediscover the form of Argentina ahead of the next race at Le Mans.”