Rabat close to victory in season finale
Valencia, Spain – 9 November 2014: Marc VDS Racing Team rider Tito Rabat came within 0.133s of ending a fantastic 2014 Moto2 World Championship on the top step of the podium at the Ricardo Tormo track in Valencia today.
The new Moto2 World Champion kept ice cool under race long pressure from Thomas Luthi to lead on the run to the finish line.
But just metres away from celebrating what would have been a richly deserved eighth win of the season, Rabat experienced a minor fuelling issue and had to settle for second position.
Rabat’s 14tth rostrum from an 11th pole position helped the Spaniard reach an impressive tally of 346 points, which set a new record in the intermediate category.
It was a frustrating farewell to a fantastic four-year spell with the Marc VDS Racing Team for Mika Kallio after a mistake by Maverick Vinales at the final turn on lap one ruled the Finn out of contention.
A point scoring finish on his final Moto3 appearance for the Marc VDS Racing Team appeared well within Jorge Navarro’s grasp before he crashed out unhurt on lap 10.
Tito Rabat // 2nd
“It is a pity that I could not end the season with a victory because I think we deserved it. It was a hard battle with Luthi and I couldn’t relax for one second because he was pushing really hard. Conditions for the race were cooler and I was sliding more and that consumed more fuel. Coming out of the last corner I had a small issue and unfortunately it meant Luthi could take the win. I am sorry for my fans but it has still been an unforgettable season and I am pleased that I could set a new points record.”
Mika Kallio // DNF
“A crash on the first lap caused by a stupid mistake of another rider was not how I planned to end my relationship with Marc VDS. Viñales missed his braking point and hit me and we both crashed. The only good thing is that it was him that took me out otherwise I could have lost second in the World Championship. I wanted to at least be on the podium, so it is hard to accept because I couldn’t reach two big goals I had. I wanted to reach 300 points for the first time in my career and also finish all 18 races. It was still a fantastic season for the team to take a 1-2 in the Championship and I want to thank all at the Marc VDS Racing Team for their support since 2011. It has been a fantastic relationship and together we have shared some of the best moments in my career.”
Jorge Navarro // DNF
“I am really disappointed not to finish. I got a bad start but was fighting back to get into the points when in turn 11 Guevara and Fenati touched and I braked to avoid hitting them and I lost the rear. It is a shame but I’d like to say a huge thanks to Marc VDS Racing for giving me this great opportunity in the World Championship. I have gained a huge amount of experience with them and I look forward to a new challenge in 2015.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“I was in shock when I saw Tom Luthi cross the line first but I am not too sad because Tito rode a great race. It was a great battle with Luthi and just a small problem coming out of the last corner cost us the win. It is the only mistake we had in 18 races and Tito set a points record that will be very hard to beat in the future. I am very sorry for Mika because it was a big mistake from Viñales but we secured the 1-2 in the Championship and that is an amazing accomplishment. I’d like to pay tribute to Mika for all he has done for the Marc VDS Racing Team since 2011. He has been the consummate professional, a great competitor and fantastic ambassador for Marc VDS. We would not be in the position we are now without Mika because he was crucial when we changed to Kalex. He guided our project back then and I wish him luck for the future, as long as he doesn’t beat us in 2015!”