Rabat chases World Championship from pole position at Sepang
Sepang, Malaysia – 25 October 2014: Tito Rabat will start from pole position for the tenth time this season in tomorrow’s Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix, after posting the fastest time in today’s qualifying session, which was held in sweltering conditions at Sepang.
Mika Kallio will join Rabat on the front row for the Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix, after overcoming rear grip issues to qualify in second position, just over a tenth behind his teammate.
It is the fourth time this season that the Marc VDS riders have lined up alongside each other in position one and two on the grid, but never before has the outcome of the race been so important for the championship battle, which has raged between Rabat and Kallio since the first race of the season in Qatar.
Should Rabat finish seventh or higher in the race then he will be crowned as the 2014 Moto2 World Champion on Sunday afternoon at Sepang, regardless of where his Marc VDS teammate finishes. All Kallio can do is race to win, while hoping that the rich vein of form that Rabat has enjoyed since Brno finally deserts him tomorrow.
Jorge Navarro was disappointed to secure a start only on the seventh row of the grid for tomorrow’s 18-lap Malaysian Moto3 Grand Prix, after qualifying in 20th position this afternoon at Sepang. The 18-year-old Spaniard will look to make improvements in warm up tomorrow, before heading into the race with the goal of another points scoring finish.
Tito Rabat // Pole Position // 2’07.429
“Today I had a good feeling on the bike, both with a full fuel load and later in the session with less weight. My rhythm was also good from the start, but maybe I worked a little bit too hard today, with too much stopping and starting. I also came across too many riders on track, which meant I wasn’t able to improve my lap time further. The race will be hard tomorrow, not just because of the conditions but also because all the riders are so close on time. Like always, I will focus only on the race tomorrow, not the championship. I will try to make a good start and then fight at the front, hopefully for the win.”
Mika Kallio // 2nd // 2’07.587
“If I want to win the race tomorrow then there is no place for a plan; I need to brake later, open the throttle earlier and fight from the first metre to the last! The conditions are really difficult, it’s hard to find a good setting but as we saw in qualifying, it’s the same for everyone. We do need to think about the tyres as the grip is good initially, so you can be aggressive, but then it drops off quite quickly and then you need to a little bit more gentle, more smooth, to maximise the grip. We are in not too bad a position at the moment, and we’ve closed a lot on Tito in qualifying, but we could do with another two tenths per lap and a bit more consistency in the race. I need to win here and I need to win in Valencia, but it’s really down to Tito at the moment. He has a big advantage, but we will keep putting on the pressure and see what happens.”
Jorge Navarro // 20th // 2’15.277
“This morning the feeling with the bike was good and the lap time was coming, but then I hit the limit and couldn’t seem to get past it to improve my lap time further. Now we need to break this limit because I expected much more than 20th position in qualifying and, more importantly, the gap to first place is too much. For tomorrow we need to work, because we are not where we should be yet.”