Rabat takes commanding win in Argentina
Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina – 27 April 2014: Marc VDS Racing Team rider Tito Rabat claimed his second pole position and race win double of 2014 today, after a commanding Moto2 success at the new Circuito Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.
The Spaniard delivered a flawless performance to lead the 23-lap race from start to finish, with his second win in the opening three races stretching his World Championship lead to 28-points heading to the European phase of the campaign in Jerez next weekend.
Mika Kallio rode a determined race in his landmark 200th Grand Prix appearance, the Finn capitalising on major set-up modifications to improve rear grip. His seventh place moved him into second position behind Rabat in the World Championship standings.
Livio Loi had double reason to celebrate today after marking his 17th birthday with an inspired ride to fourth, the Belgian rider missing a stunning maiden podium by a margin of just 0.084s.
Loi’s stellar performance on a weekend in which he also scored a career best qualifying result, saw him fight for the win with Romano Fenati, Alex Marquez and Jack Miller in a nail-biting battle that was only decided at the final corner.
Tito Rabat // 1st
“From the outside it might have looked like an easy race but on the bike it was incredibly difficult. It is not easy to keep maximum concentration and I knew that if I made a small mistake Simeon was ready to attack. I am really happy because I made a good start and led the whole race. I have to say a big thanks to my team because they gave me a fantastic bike and the tyre choice was perfect. We go to Jerez with a nice lead in the championship but I can’t relax because Mika is now second and he will be pushing hard as always.”
Mika Kallio // 7th
“The bike in the race was the best it has been all weekend and we found a lot more rear grip and tyre life, which have been the biggest issues. I started so far back and the riders outside of the top 10 are completely crazy in the first two laps. They don’t know where to brake and they always run wide and mess up your rhythm. I lost a lot of places, so to get back to seventh was the maximum I could achieve. I’m not satisfied because the race could have been completely different with a better qualifying and with my pace I had the chance to battle for the podium. I’m second in the championship but Tito has pulled a good advantage, so we have to improve.”
Livio Loi // 4th
“That was an incredible way to celebrate my birthday. It was an unbelievable race because I lost some places at the start, but once in my rhythm I just kept passing and moving forward. I saw the leading group wasn’t far away so I kept pushing and all of the time I was closing the gap. At the final corner I couldn’t take the inside line, so I had to go round the outside and I was still very good on the brakes, even on the dirty part of the track. But Fenati touched Marquez and Miller and I had to pick my bike up. I’m a little disappointed to just miss out on the podium after such an amazing race but this weekend has been massive boost for my confidence. Now I have showed I can be there and I want to thank the Marc VDS Racing Team for always believing in me.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Our first trip to Argentina has certainly been one we won’t forget in a hurry. Tito did a fantastic job and it always an impressive achievement to lead for the whole race in a category as tough as Moto2. He managed the race really well and it is great to have a good advantage in the championship at this early stage. I’m happy with Mika’s job because now we are 1-2 in the rankings. Qualifying is so important and starting 14th was not ideal but he fought his way back and scored some crucial points. And Livio was just phenomenal. Marc van der Straten and I have always believed he has the talent and it was a great day. With a bit more luck he could have finished on the podium and he learned more in those 21-laps than he did in the whole of last year. I am sure this is the boost he needs to become a consistent top 10 finisher.”