Rabat takes the win from Kallio after epic Silverstone battle
Silverstone, Great Britain – 31 August 2014: Tito Rabat got the better of a titanic battle with his Marc VDS teammate, Mika Kallio, to take his sixth victory of the season in the British Moto2 Grand Prix today.
It is the third time in 2014 that the Marc VDS duo has occupied the top two steps of the podium and today’s victory means that Rabat has now won half of the 12 races run so far, giving him a 17 point lead over Kallio at the top of the Championship standings.
After struggling with both the conditions and set up at Silverstone all weekend, it was a welcome win for Rabat, who was visibly relieved as he pulled up to occupy the number one slot in parc ferme post race.
For Kallio there was only disappointment, after losing out to his teammate in a race he’d pretty much dominated until the very closing stages. Despite putting up an aggressive defence on the final lap, the 31-year-old Finn had no answer for his equally aggressive Marc VDS teammate.
Jorge Navarro finished today’s British Moto3 Grand Prix in 27th position, after what has been a difficult weekend at Silverstone. The 18-year-old Spaniard struggled to find a good feeling with his Kalex-KTM ahead of today’s race, but looked set to finish in the top 20 until a last lap collision dropped him to 27th at the chequered flag.
Tito Rabat // Race Winner
“The start was normal; the first laps were neither good nor bad, but once the fuel load started to reduce then I was able to push more and more. It put me into a good fight with Folger, Vinales, Zarco and, eventually, Mika who I managed to get the better of on the last lap. I’m happy because here I wasn’t the fastest on track, because the other riders had better settings than us today. The team and me put in everything, we took all the risk and it paid off. It makes today’s win even more special.”
Mika Kallio // 2nd
“The race was a little bit how we expected today. I pushed hard from the start to try and pull away at the front, even though it’s not easy to do here at Silverstone. I managed to build up a lead of around 1.5s by the halfway point, which wasn’t too bad, but I knew that Tito would be fast at the end, like always. He dropped his lap time and started to close, so I started to push again, but I wasn’t able to improve my time. At this track, once you are close enough for the slipstream, it gives you around 0.5s and you can close a gap very quickly. I knew it was going to be a tough fight, and it was, but obviously I’m not happy with second. There’s a long way to go in the championship yet, so I’m not overly concerned about the points gap, but after today I know I maybe need to be more aggressive with Tito in the future, especially when it comes down to the two of us at the end of a race.”
Jorge Navarro // 27th
“I’m disappointed, because I came here looking for a good result, but it didn’t happen. Friday was not bad, but we didn’t really go in the right direction with the set up and I didn’t have a good feeling in qualifying or the race. My start today was good and I managed to overtake some riders to join the fight for 17th position, but I could do no more with the bike. My objective was to finish in this position and collect as much information as possible, but on the final lap another rider hit me and we crashed. I remounted to finish 27th so at least we have the data from a full race. We have to make a reset, as we have lost a little bit our direction this weekend, but we have a test at Aragon and the CEV race at Navarra during which I can rebuild my confidence on the bike ahead of Misano.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“This is the third time Tito and Mika have finished one-two, but the first time they’ve gone head-to-head on track over the final lap. I’m sure it was exciting for the fans but, as you can probably imagine, it was a little more nerve wracking for us on the pit wall. It was a good battle and Tito did well to get the upper hand after a difficult weekend, but I’m sure Mika will now be keen to repay the favour next time out at Misano, a track he likes and has gone well at in the past. A great job by both crews this weekend and we’ve pulled even further ahead now in the Championship standings, which is also very important. It’s been a difficult weekend for Jorge but he continued to work hard with his crew to find solutions to the problems he encountered and he has learnt a lot as a result. He will test now at Aragon before returning to the CEV at Navarra and I’m confident he’ll be back on form at Misano.”