Rabat looking to start title defence with a win in Qatar
Gosselies, Belgium – 23 March 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS head this week to Qatar, for the opening race of the 2015 Moto2 World Championship season at the Losail International Circuit.
Tito Rabat will race this season with the number one plate on his bike, the first time in the history of Moto2 that a reigning champion has returned to defend his title. The 25-year-old Spaniard is keen to repeat his success of last year by kicking off his defence with a second consecutive race win in Qatar.
The Qatar race will mark Alex Marquez’s debut in the hotly contested Moto2 World Championship, after a preseason testing schedule marred by bad weather. Despite a lack of dry track time aboard the Kalex Moto2 machine he’ll campaign in Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS colours this season, the reigning Moto3 World Champion is looking forward to the challenge ahead.
The Grand Prix of Qatar gets underway with two free practice sessions for the Moto2 class on Thursday 26th March.
“I’m pretty happy with our preseason testing, mainly because of the rain. We were able to test extensively in the wet, which I’ve never had the opportunity to do before and we learnt a lot. We know that in the dry we have the pace to fight for the win, and I think the same is also true when it’s wet now. And that’s the approach for this season, to go to every race and to try and fight for the win, starting this weekend in Qatar.”
“Qatar will be my first race in Moto2, so everything is new and we will need to concentrate all weekend. We haven’t had such good luck with the weather during the preseason tests; I needed dry track time on the bike, but mostly we had rain, which wasn’t ideal. It means we need to find a good setting with the bike in Qatar and a good rhythm for the race, but I head to the first race really motivated to work hard with the team. We need to do the best job we can during practice in Qatar, so we’re ready for the race. It’s difficult to say what my expectations are for the first race, after such a wet preseason, but there will be quite a few riders in the same situation.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“The bad weather during preseason testing means we head to Qatar with two riders in very different situations. Tito has the number one plate on his bike, so he knows he has the pace in the dry and the wet weather during testing means he’s also confident now that he can hold his own when it rains. He will be looking to kick off his title defence with a win in Qatar and I wouldn’t bet against him doing exactly that. Alex will make his Moto2 debut this weekend with far less dry track time under his belt than either he or the team expected, but his methodical approach will continue to serve him well in Qatar. I am confident that he will use the available practice time wisely and I think a top ten finish on Sunday is an achievable goal for him.”
|2015 Grand Prix of Qatar – Schedule|
|Thursday 26th March|
|18.00 – 18.40||40 Mins||Moto3||Free Practice 1|
|18.55 – 19.40||45 Mins||Moto2||Free Practice 1|
|19.55 – 20.40||45 Mins||MotoGP||Free Practice 1|
|20.55 – 21.35||40 Mins||Moto3||Free Practice 2|
|21.50 – 22.35||45 Mins||Moto2||Free Practice 2|
|Friday 27th March|
|18.00 – 18.45||45 Mins||MotoGP||Free Practice 2|
|19.00 – 19.40||40 Mins||Moto3||Free Practice 3|
|19.55 – 20.40||45 Mins||Moto2||Free Practice 3|
|20.55 – 21.40||45 Mins||MotoGP||Free Practice 3|
|Saturday 28th March|
|18.00 – 18.40||40 Mins||Moto3||Qualifying|
|18.55 – 19.40||45 Mins||Moto2||Qualifying|
|19.55 – 20.50||30 Mins||MotoGP||Free Practice 4|
|20.35 – 20.50||15 Mins||MotoGP||Qualifying 1|
|21.00 – 21.15||15 Mins||MotoGP||Qualifying 2|
|Sunday 29th March|
|15.50 – 16.10||20 Mins||Moto3||Warm Up|
|16.25 – 16.45||20 Mins||Moto2||Warm Up|
|17.00 – 17.20||20 Mins||MotoGP||Warm Up|