Rabat bows out with a win at Valencia
Valencia, Spain – 8 November 2015: Tito Rabat ended his Moto2 career on a high note by returning from injury to win the final race of the season in front of a sell out crowd at Valencia.
The former Moto2 World Champion arrived at Valencia not knowing whether the arm injury sustained in a training crash would hamper him on the bike. However, after securing his 16th pole position yesterday, Rabat went to the grid determined to mark his final appearance in the intermediate class with a win.
The 26-year-old Spaniard got away cleanly at the start, but he had to do it all again when the race was halted following a crash involving a number of riders on the opening lap. At the restart the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider again got away at the front, leading every one of the 18 laps and holding off a challenge from Álex Rins to take his 13th and final Moto2 race win.
With Rins second in the race today, Rabat’s victory meant he was just three points short of reclaiming second place in the Championship standings.
Álex Márquez also ended the season in the points today. The 19-year-old Spaniard made a good start and was running in a strong position when the red flags brought the race to a halt. At the restart the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider didn’t get away quite as cleanly and a couple of mistakes on the opening lap saw him drop down the order. Márquez was chasing a top ten finish, but the shortened race meant he ran out of laps and had to settle for 12th at the flag.
While Rabat will remain in Valencia to test the team’s Honda RC213V MotoGP machine on Tuesday and Wednesday, Márquez will head to Jerez with new Moto2 teammate, Franco Morbidelli, for a two-day test starting on Wednesday.
Tito Rabat: 1st
“I’m so happy, because I arrived here not knowing if I would be able to ride at the top level. But I felt good on the bike on Friday and it got better with every day. Okay, I’m still not 100% fit, but I’m fit enough to ride fast. Today was my last race in Moto2 and my last race with my crew, so it was great to say farewell to both with a win. I enjoyed the race; I just pushed on every lap and treated it like a sprint. I thought it was Lüthi behind me at the end, like last year, but then I looked back and saw Rins, so I knew he was going to challenge, and I knew I was going to hold him off. I learnt a lot this weekend; mainly that I need to give myself time to recover after an injury, but also that I maybe don’t need to do so many laps at home to be quick. Now we start the next adventure, with the MotoGP test on Tuesday and Wednesday.”
Alex Marquez: 12th
“The luck was not with us today. At the first start I did so well, then in the second I didn’t! I made so many mistakes on the opening lap. It’s a little bit disappointing because I know I could have made a better race – we had not a bad rhythm; not our best but not bad. I didn’t ride my best race. It’s been a difficult season, but in some circuits we were fast, and I know where we need to push. For the future I know now where I need to improve. But now I can use that when we start a whole new season this week at Jerez with 100% motivation, and push at a high level from the very beginning.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It's the most fantastic thing for a rider to win his last race before quitting a category. We already thought that this was a great weekend because we didn't know if he would be able to do the full race distance. We also knew that Rins was a rider who can be very dangerous until the last corner of a race and keeping him behind was impressive for Tito. This was one of the nicest weekends from the last few years. For Alex the second start didn't help us because he had been in a good position before the red flag and then in the second start he lost ground in the early laps and dropped back to 18th or 19th position. Then he caught the time back and finished in the points in the last race of his rookie season. He has learned a lot about the Moto2 championship this year and now he has to come back stronger for next year.”