Rabat and Márquez ready to race at home
Gosselies, Belgium – 8 June 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat heads into this weekend’s Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya in Barcelona quietly confident, after taking his first win of the season last time out in Mugello.
The win saw Rabat move up to second in the championship standings, just 31 points adrift of series leader, Johann Zarco. It is a gap that the reigning Moto2 World Champion is keen to close even further this weekend, on a track at which he won from pole position just 12 months ago and where he’ll have the fervent support of his home crowd.
Álex Márquez also heads to Barcelona with his confidence buoyed by a solid performance in Mugello. The reigning Moto3 World Champion was forced to fight his way through the field after a difficult start, only to have to do it all again after narrowly avoiding the incident between Álex Rins and Franco Morbidelli that saw the Italian crash out of the race.
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider can also count on the support of a partisan home crowd, many of whom will make the short trip from Márquez’s home town of Cervera to cheer him on, at a track on which he won the Moto3 race 12 months ago.
“I won in Barcelona last year, but this year the situation is very different. The championship is more closely contested and I made too many mistakes at the start of the season, allowing other riders to take advantage. The win in Mugello was good, as it put me back in contention for the championship, but now we need to focus on the weekend ahead. The approach will remain the same; work hard with the team to ensure we’re in the best shape possible for Sunday’s race and then, when the lights go out, push for the win. Barcelona is always a special weekend, because it’s my home city, so I hope we can give the crowd something to cheer about on Sunday.”
“Mugello was a positive weekend, because we rediscovered the direction that was missing in Le Mans, so we’re in a better position going into Barcelona. This is my home track; one that suits my riding style and a circuit at which I won the Moto3 race last year and have won at previously in the Spanish championship. I need to adapt to the Moto2 bike there, but I think we can do better than in Mugello, where a finish inside the top eight was possible with a better start. While racing in front of your home crowd always brings a little more pressure, it also adds motivation too, so I’m looking forward to the weekend ahead.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Tito dominated in Barcelona last year but this year the championship is much more closely contested, with three or four riders able to match his pace in both qualifying and the race. In Mugello he got the better of them all to take his first win of the season, which means he will go into this weekend more confident. But this is Tito we’re talking about, so his search for further improvements from both himself and the bike will continue. A win this weekend would be perfect but his first priority must be to beat Zarco, to reduce further the gap at the top of the championship standings. Álex made another step forward with the bike in Mugello, even if his finishing position after an incident packed race didn’t really reflect this. With his home crowd behind him, and on a track he likes and has won at before, I’m confident we will see Álex battling for a top ten finish this weekend in Barcelona.”