Qualifying one-two for Marc VDS in Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain – 14 June 2014: Tito Rabat will start his home race from the front of the grid tomorrow, after claiming his fifth pole position of the season with a dominant qualifying performance in Barcelona this afternoon. Mika Kallio made it a one-two for the Marc VDS Racing Team by qualifying second for tomorrow’s 23-lap Moto2 race.
Rabat has topped the timesheet in every session this weekend, always with a margin of half-a-second or more over his closest rival. The 25-year-old Spaniard continued this form in qualifying, taking pole position by 0.571s from his Marc VDS teammate, Mika Kallio.
Yesterday Kallio struggled when the temperature rose and grip become an issue due to the deteriorating track conditions, but the 31-year-old Finn bounced back to claim second place on the grid this afternoon, after working with his crew to find a more competitive set up on his Kalex Moto2 machine.
Livio Loi will start tomorrow’s 22-lap Moto3 race from 23rd position on the grid, after a disappointing qualifying session in Barcelona this afternoon. The 17-year-old Belgian struggled to get the bike stopped on corner entry, a problem he hadn’t experienced in the three free practice sessions, but it was the fast final sector that robbed him of the most time.
Tito Rabat // Pole Position // 1’46.569
“I’m happy because we’ve had a good weekend so far but, as I said before, the race is tomorrow and the race is the only thing that counts. Of course I want to win at home, but it’s not going to be easy. It’s good to start from pole, but Kallio and Viñales are both strong and they will be there tomorrow, that’s for sure. Tonight we want to try and makes some more small improvements to the bike and then tomorrow we’ll go out and try to win, like always.”
Mika Kallio // 2nd // 1’47.140
“With the qualifying position today we can be satisfied, but we are still a little bit too far from Tito. We’re getting a little closer, step-by-step, but he’s still half-a-second in front. When the temperature rises and the grip becomes difficult to find, it seems to affect me more than others. The lap time today felt like it was done right on the limit, with the bike sliding, sliding everywhere. In the past races I’ve been strong at the start, whereas Tito has not been so quick over the first few laps, so if I can break his rhythm then we will see what we can do. For me, I’d prefer it to be a little bit cooler tomorrow, as this would make things a little easier for me.”
Livio Loi // 23rd // 1’52.614
“Qualifying was not a good session for me. We made some changes to the bike to try and improve how the front tracks through the turns, but then I was struggling to get the bike stopped for the corners. There was little improvement in the final sector, which is where I am losing most of my time. The bike just won’t hold the line through the last two turns; I’m running wide every time, which means I’m late on the gas for the start finish straight. We need to find something in warm up tomorrow if I am going to retain my position in the championship.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“Tito has dominated all weekend, so the pole position wasn’t such a big surprise. He wants to win in front of his home crowd and, given his domination of proceedings this weekend, it would be a brave man who bet against him doing just that. Mika struggled with the conditions yesterday but, together with his crew, he worked to find a solution and, as his qualifying performance shows, they were successful. Could we see another double Marc VDS podium tomorrow? We’ll have to see, but I wouldn’t bet against that either. As for Livio, what can I say? I’m disappointed because his performance fell well short of our expectations. This is a key race for Livio; he was set his targets at the beginning of the season and now he needs to meet them. To do that, he needs to finish in the points tomorrow.”