Rabat claims his ninth pole of the season at Phillip Island

Rabat claims his ninth pole of the season at Phillip Island

Phillip Island, Australia – 18 October 2014: Tito Rabat has been in another league this weekend at Phillip Island, topping the timesheet in every session and claiming his ninth pole position of the season with a new outright lap record in qualifying this afternoon.

It means that Rabat is now the rider with the most Moto2 pole positions in one season, having surpassed the previous record of eight, set by Pol Espargaro in 2012. The 25-year-old Spaniard could wrap up the Moto2 World Championship title here tomorrow should he score 12 points more than Marc VDS teammate Mika Kallio.

Kallio is determined to keep his championship hopes alive by beating his Rabat in tomorrow’s Australian Moto2 Grand Prix. The 31-year-old Finn will also start from the race from the front row of the grid, after bouncing back from two big crashes yesterday to claim third position, just 0.2s off the time of his teammate, in this afternoon’s 45-minute qualifying session.

Jorge Navarro made a big step forward in today’s Moto3 qualifying session, improving on his previous best lap by almost two seconds to claim 11th position on the grid. Most of this time came from improvements to his Kalex-KTM machine, meaning the 18-year-old Spaniard goes into tomorrow’s 23-lap race with renewed confidence, after three difficult free practice sessions here at Phillip Island.

Tito Rabat // Pole Position // 1’32.470
“So far we’ve made a perfect weekend, working step by step and fastest in every session, but I had a small problem in qualifying because I got something on my right glove and my fingers were stuck together, which made things a bit difficult. But I got pole position and I’m happy with that; tomorrow I will try to make a good start and find my rhythm in the first few laps. I’m only thinking about winning the race; if I thought about the championship then that would be a problem!”

Mika Kallio // 3rd // 1’32.698
“I think we can be satisfied today, for two reasons. Firstly, we found a better setting for the bike, mainly for the front and, secondly, but we also found a little bit more grip from the rear tyre. We saw in free practice that it takes around six or seven laps before the tyres are working at their best, so we decided to stay out for the whole of qualifying on one set, which proved to be the right decision. For this reason, in the race we will need to be a little cautious in the opening laps, until the tyres start to work properly, as it would be easy to make a mistake. I have to beat Tito tomorrow to keep the championship alive but it won’t be easy, because he’s riding well with no mistakes, but the difference is only two-tenths, so let’s see. It will be an interesting race I think!”

Jorge Navarro // 11th // 1’36.753
“The feeling now with the bike is much better than yesterday. We made a step forward in free practice this morning, but I crashed and wasn’t able to take advantage of the improvements. In qualifying we made another step with the bike, the feeling was improving and the lap time started to come. To qualify 11th on the grid gives some more motivation for tomorrow and if we can have a good warm up then I think the race will be good.”