Rabat reasserts his authority with a win at Mugello
Mugello, Italy – 1 June 2014: Tito Rabat strengthened his position at the top of the Moto2 World Championship standings with a perfect weekend at Mugello. The 25-year-old Spaniard started from pole position and posted a new lap record on the way to his third win of the season this afternoon.
Today’s victory, which came after chasing down early leaders Jonas Folger and Luis Salom, sees Rabat extend his championship lead over his Marc VDS teammate to 22 points.
Mika Kallio declared himself less than satisfied with his sixth place finish today, despite extending his lead over third placed Maverick Viñales in the championship standings. The Finn carved his way through the field in the early laps, after starting from 11th on the grid, but got held up behind Dominique Aegerter while the leading trio escaped at the front. The pair then battled throughout the race, with Kallio only losing out on fifth place after a photo finish.
Persistence paid off for Livio Loi this afternoon, with the 17-year-old Belgian claiming a 19th place finish after fighting his bike for every one of the 20 laps over which the Moto3 race was won. Loi is hopeful of finding a solution to his handling problems during a test at the Mugello circuit on Tuesday, at which he’ll be joined by his Moto2 teammates.
Representing the team on the podium alongside Tito Rabat was the Marc VDS Team Coordinator, Marina Rossi, who celebrated her birthday today at Mugello.
Tito Rabat // Race Winner
“I’m very happy with the win today. I made a good start, but then I touched with Salom and that allowed him and Folger to get away at the front. But I was able to bridge the gap and then I had a fantastic battle at the front of the race, before eventually working my way through into the lead and pulling enough of a gap to stop them slipstreaming past me on the straight. It’s good to win before going back to Spain for my home race in two weeks but, in terms of the championship, it’s just another race and there are many more to go yet. Now we must focus on the test here at Mugello on Tuesday, so we can go to the next race and try and win again.”
Mika Kallio // 6th
“The race result was better than our qualifying position and it’s opened up the gap back to third in the championship standings, but Tito has also extended his lead, so we can’t really be satisfied with the result here at Mugello. I managed to make up a lot of places in the opening laps, but then I couldn’t find a way past Aegerter; he was so strong on the brakes, but then really slow in the corner and it just broke my rhythm. I managed to get past him with a few laps to go but, again, he passed me on the brakes straight away. It was close at the line, but race direction gave him fifth place after watching the video replay. The bike felt better in the race, but there’s still something missing and we need to find it before heading to Catalunya, where we’d normally use the same set up.”
Livio Loi // 19th
“The race went pretty much as expected if I’m honest. The feeling with the bike just wasn’t there, so much so that it felt more like a 20-lap fight than a race. We tried pretty much everything with the bike this weekend, but the small improvements we did find just weren’t enough. We’re testing here at Mugello on Tuesday and I hope we can find something then, before we head to the next race. Last year I felt really strong at Catalunya, so I don’t want to go there this season and struggle with the same problems.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“If anyone doubted that Tito Rabat has a stranglehold on this championship at the moment, then this weekend has proved them wrong. He had the perfect weekend with pole position, a new lap record and he now heads home for the Catalunya race with a bigger lead in the championship and the confidence that this brings. Mika had had a difficult weekend trying to find a workable set up on the bike but, like always, he got the job done in the race. I know he’s not so happy with the result, but sixth place means our two riders now enjoy a bigger advantage at the top of the championship standings. Livio did what he could today. You could see he was uncomfortable on the bike, but he persisted and ended up inside the top 20. We will test here on Tuesday, so at least we have a chance to try and find some improvement for Livio ahead of the next race.”