Marc VDS get 2014 off to a flying start at Valencia
The Marc VDS Racing Team got their 2014 Moto2 campaign off to a flying start at the opening test of the season in Valencia. Tito Rabat dipped under the outright circuit record to top the timesheet, while Mika Kallio ended the three-day test seventh on combined times.
An unseasonably cold Valencia welcomed the riders on the opening day of the test, with strong winds making conditions on track less than ideal for testing. Undeterred after a winter spent at home in Finland, it was Kallio who conquered the cold to post the fastest lap on day one. Rabat, while not a fan of the cold or the wind, still ended the day eighth on the timesheet.
Both Marc VDS Moto2 riders took advantage of the much-improved conditions on the second day, with Rabat setting a blistering pace in the final timed session. The 24-year-old Spaniard’s lap time of 1’35.155s was the fastest of the day, almost 0.4s quicker than second placed Tom Lüthi. The return of the wind on the final day meant that nobody, including Rabat, was able to improve on this time.
Moto3 rider, Livio Loi, made significant progress over the course of the three-day test, eventually finishing 11th on combined times and within one second of the fastest time of the test, set by Niccolò Antonelli.
The Marc VDS Racing Team depart Valencia this evening, destination Jerez, where the second three-day test of the 2014 season will take place from 18-20 February.
Tito Rabat: 1st – 1’35.155
“I’m very happy for the feeling with the bike and with the team during these three days in Valencia. We worked very well, trying many different things on the bike – suspension, swinging arm and fairings – and we learnt a lot. We made improvements to the bike and also found a good rhythm during our race simulation today. Now we need to head down to Jerez to confirm everything at a different track, under different conditions and, hopefully, make one step more.”
Mika Kallio: 7th – 1’35.690
“Overall I’m quite satisfied, mainly for the progress made over the first two days. I was fastest on day one, but slipped to third on day two. The plan for today was to try to make a few fast lap times, to close the gap to the top, but the feeling with the soft tyre wasn’t so good and I couldn’t take advantage of the additional grip. Rather than chase a time, we decided instead to work on a solution to the problem I had at the race here last year, when my rear tyre was almost completely destroyed. Over the race simulation today there was a significant improvement in both the grip and the endurance of the rear tyre, which was positive, but we need to confirm this and a number of other things at Jerez next week.”
Livio Loi: 11th – 1’40.394
“After some of the issues I had last year with my feeling on the bike, here we’ve focussed on testing different settings to find the best base set up. My feeling has improved and this can be seen in the lap times, as well as the reduced gap to the front-runners. Today was also very important; in the past I’ve had problems when it’s been windy, but today I was able to maintain the same gap to the front despite the wind, which is a big step forward. Now we head to Jerez, where the goal is to make another step.”