Rabat claims record pole at windswept Valencia
Valencia, Spain – 8 November 2014: Marc VDS Racing’s newly crowned Moto2 World Champion Tito Rabat continued his remarkable record-breaking exploits in 2014 today with a stunning late qualifying attack that secured the Spaniard an 11th pole position of the season.
A blistering lap of 1.35.199, which smashed the Ricardo Tormo track record by almost 0.5s, saw Rabat break the pole position record for the intermediate class, which was previously held by Toni Mang and Jorge Lorenzo.
A gusting wind that battered the Ricardo Tormo track throughout the 45-minute session was unable to knock a confident Rabat out of his rhythm and a 13th career pole position was secured by just 0.043s over Johann Zarco.
Mika Kallio missed the front row of the grid for only the fourth time in 12 races, with the Finn unable to find a faster rhythm in the blustery conditions.
Kallio, who is celebrating his 32nd birthday today, will start his final race in Marc VDS Racing colours from ninth on the grid after setting a best pace of 1.35.670.
Jorge Navarro will start his home race from 18th on a day the Spaniard’s pace and potential was not reflected in his final grid position.
Navarro was an excellent ninth overall in practice, but a strong wind that picked up for the decisive qualifying session, meant lap times were slower this afternoon on the 2.517 miles track.
Tito Rabat // Pole Position // 1’35.199
“I am really happy to get pole position today because it was my 11th of the year and incredibly satisfying to know that is a new record. This weekend I have felt a lot less pressure with the World Championship already secure and I can just go out and enjoy riding the bike. I pushed at my maximum at the end of qualifying but it was so windy and the bike was sliding a lot, but I did enough to get pole position and now I can really enjoy tomorrow. Fighting for the win is the goal and that would be the perfect way to end a fantastic season for me personally and all at Marc VDS Racing.”
Mika Kallio // 9th // 1’35.670
“I can’t be satisfied to be ninth on the grid after finishing inside the top three and being very close to the front in practice. But the wind was really strong for qualifying and it was hard to find a good rhythm. It was also difficult to draw any conclusions from some of the set-up changes we made in those kind of conditions. I am still confident for the race and obviously the focus will be to secure second in the World Championship, which would be mission accomplished for Marc VDS Racing.”
Jorge Navarro // 18th // 1’40.097
“This morning I had a very good pace on old and new tyres and I was confident going into qualifying of challenging for the top 10. But the wind was much stronger for qualifying and I didn’t have the same good feeling with the bike. My lap time is not bad but the problem is Moto3 is so competitive that I only needed to be 0.2s faster and I was inside the top 10 instead of being down in 18th. I am not worried because I’ve had a good feeling with the bike for most of the weekend and the goal will be to finish inside the top 10.”