Rabat on pole at Assen

Rabat on pole at Assen

Assen, Holland – 27 June 2014: Tito Rabat will start from pole position in tomorrow’s Moto2 Dutch TT at the historic TT Circuit Assen. Mika Kallio will start from the head of the second row, after qualifying in fourth place this afternoon.

Having towed Dominique Aegerter around to claim provisional pole at the halfway point in the session, Rabat managed to find a clear track on his final exit and posted the fastest lap of the weekend to claim his sixth, and the Marc VDS Racing Team’s seventh, pole position of the season. The Moto2 World Championship leader goes into tomorrow’s 24-lap race determined to secure his fifth win of the season and increase further his advantage at the top of the series standings.

Kallio also had his sights set firmly on the front row today, but missed out by less than a tenth of a second after running into the usual traffic on track, as riders cruised on the racing line looking for a tow. Despite his disappointment at qualifying off the front row, the 31-year-old Finn is confident for tomorrow’s race, in which he’s once again targeting the podium. 

Today Livio Loi continued his familiarisation with the KTM RC250R he’s racing for the first time this weekend in Assen. The 17-year-old Belgian made a big step forward in qualifying, with an improvement of more than a second providing a welcome boost to his confidence, although it wasn’t enough to see him qualify higher than 30th for tomorrow’s race.

Tito Rabat // Pole Position // 1’37.311
“I’m particularly happy to be starting from pole here at Assen tomorrow, because we’ve had to work hard for it this weekend. We’ve had some problems in free practice, but the team did a good job to find a solution each time. We need to find another small step for tomorrow in warm up, but we’re pretty much ready to race. We will need to see what the weather conditions are like tomorrow, because they’ve been pretty changeable so far this weekend, but a dry race would be good.”

Mika Kallio // 4th // 1’37.699
“I’m a little disappointed to have missed out on the front row today, because everything was good. My feeling with the bike was good, my preferred tyre option was working well and I definitely had the pace. You get maximum grip in the first five laps on a new tyre and, unfortunately, riders cruising for a tow held me up on two of these five laps. I’m not sure I could have matched Tito’s time, but with a clear run I’m confident the front row was possible. I’m happy with our race set up, and also that we can use our preferred rear tyre in the race and that the grip level is more consistent than before. The most important thing is that I have both the feeling with the bike and the confidence now.” 

Livio Loi // 30th // 1’43.851
“We made a step this afternoon in qualifying and I improved my lap time by more than one second compared to this morning. Obviously I’d have preferred the improvement to come this morning, so that we could have built on it in qualifying, but it just didn’t happen. Now we need to continue moving forward and improving, firstly in tomorrow’s warm up and then in the race. Starting from 30th will make finishing in the points difficult tomorrow, but if I can leave Assen having made another step forward with the bike, ready for the next race in Sachsenring, I’ll be reasonably satisfied.”

Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“Another good qualifying session for Tito and Mika. It might be Tito’s sixth pole position of the season, but he had to work harder for this one than the others and it came because he never gave up, he just kept pushing. Mika was unlucky to miss out on the front row only because of the traffic, as his pace has been good all weekend. There is no question that both riders will be strong in tomorrow’s race, the only question is about the weather, as it’s notoriously fickle here at Assen. Although it wasn’t reflected in his qualifying position, Livio managed a significant improvement this afternoon. Tomorrow he needs to use warm up and the race to improve further, because we won’t accept a similar performance at Sachsenring in two weeks time.”