Rabat fights through the pack to the podium
Misano, Italy – Sunday 13 September 2015: After an uncharacteristically slow start, Tito Rabat was forced to dig deep at Misano this afternoon, as he fought his way through the field to finish second and claim his eighth podium finish of the season.
After losing ground at the start the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider was in damage limitation mode as a lack of front end feeling in the early laps held him back. Having grown in confidence as the race progressed the 26-year-old picked his way through the pack to fight for a podium position. With six laps to go the reigning Moto2 World Champion moved into the top three and set about chasing down Takaaki Nakagami.
With three laps to go the Rabat squeezed past Nakagami and from that point onwards the Spaniard opened a healthy gap to cross the finish line comfortably ahead of the Japanese rider to claim his third consecutive Misano rostrum.
Álex Márquez crashed heavily at turn 12 on the sixth lap, after making a good start from 17th on the grid. It was a big crash for the reigning Moto3 World Champion and he was lucky to walk away with only his pride bruised. It was a disappointing end to a difficult weekend for Márquez, who has been in good form of late, finishing fourth in the last two races as he continues to adapt in his rookie season in Moto2.
Tito Rabat: 2nd
“I don't know why but in the first laps I had no feeling with the front. This didn't happen in practice or qualifying and all weekend I was full in turn 11 but I had to close today. After a few laps with the fuel load going down I was able to push harder, it wasn't like in qualifying or free practice but it was close. I was able to make some overtaking moves on other riders and we tried everything we could, but it looks like we needed an extra step to stay with both Johann and Álex Rins, who is also very strong now. We will work at the test here tomorrow to try and find more corner speed to match that of Johann, and we will once again be pushing for the victory in my home Grand Prix at Aragon.”
Álex Márquez: DNF
“In the race the weather changed a lot and the track condition was very different compared to the rest of the weekend. In the early laps I wanted to catch the front group because I had a good rhythm and I felt like I could run with them. We had some problems this weekend, in FP1 and the crash in qualifying, so it wasn't the best weekend for us, but I think that the way that we have improved at Brno and Silverstone continued here and now we'll go to my home track at Aragon and I want to make a good result there.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“In the beginning of the race Tito said that he had no feeling with the front and that he was losing the front some times in the faster corners. It was a shame to lose a big gap to Zarco because they both had the same tyre choice and Zarco could keep his rhythm to the end of the race. For me the last ten laps were really impressive from Tito because he showed that he could fight and this had been a little bit of a weak point in the past. Today we saw that Tito is still one of the best riders in the championship. With where he came from in the race we can be happy with a second place. For Alex it was a shame because he used the same tyre selection as Tito and he was running close to his teammate when he crashed. I think that it would have been possible to finish close to the front like Tito did. Finishing the race in the gravel is always frustrating but we have to accept it. Overall though I'm happy with today and the weekend.”