Successful Jerez test concludes 2013 season for Marc VDS
Mika Kallio and Esteve “Tito” Rabat signed off a successful 2013 season for the Marc VDS Racing Team, with a positive two-day test at the Jerez circuit in Southern Spain.
For Rabat the test was his first appearance for the Marc VDS Racing Team, as well his first opportunity to test the 2014 Kalex Moto2 machine he’ll campaign next season. The 24-year-old Spaniard was immediately on the pace, ending the test second on the timesheet and almost one second inside his own lap record, set during this year’s Spanish Grand Prix, which he won convincingly.
Kallio also tested the 2014 Kalex with positive results, although an electrical issue limited his time on the bike during the opening day of the test. Despite the technical issues, the 31-year-old Finn declared himself happy with the new bike, on which he posted a lap time of 1’42.776 to end the test fourth on combined times.
Rabat and Kallio will now enjoy two months off after a long and arduous season, before returning to the track on 11th February for the start of pre-season testing at Valencia.
Tito Rabat #53 // 1’42.286 // 2nd // @TitoRabat
“I’m very happy with the progress made on both days. The first day I had a good feeling with the bike and the second day was even better. Working with my new crew and my new teammate, Mika, has been good, and we communicate well together as a team already. So, the start with Marc VDS has been a good one for me, but now we need to keep working over the winter and during pre-season testing, because the target is to fight for the win in every race next year. After these two days with the team in Jerez, I believe this is an achievable goal.”
Mika Kallio #36 // 1’42.776 // 4th
“We had a small technical problem, so we didn’t get so many laps with the 2014 bike yesterday, but we did enough laps to see that there was an improvement, especially when trail braking into the turns. The front feeling was better, with more feedback from the tyre, which gives you more confidence to push into the turn with more speed. This is a big positive for next year. We also tried different swinging arm options with the new frame and I think we’ve found a good combination for this track. The Kalex guys have done a good job and it was a positive way to end the year. It’s been a tough season, so now is the time to relax for a few weeks before returning to training, ready for pre-season testing in February.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“At Jerez we welcomed Tito into the team for the first time, but after just two-days with us he’s already working well with his new crew, as his lap times illustrate quite clearly. His approach to testing is impressive, as he makes every single lap count. His enthusiasm for racing is also contagious; if they didn’t shut the track at night I think he’d still be out there testing in the dark! He is a good fit for our team and I’m looking forward to working with him in 2014. Mika also had a successful test here at Jerez, quickly getting to grips with evaluating the 2014 Kalex, despite some technical issues limiting his track time. Now we head into the winter break, which I hope both riders will use to recharge their batteries ready for the new season, which starts with testing in February.”
Marc van der Straten // President, Marc VDS Racing Team
“The 2013 season was our most successful to date, but I’m already looking forward to next year having seen what Mika and Tito have accomplished on the 2014 bike during these two days at Jerez. This was Tito’s first test with the team, but he was straight down to work with his new crew and his lap times show clearly that he’s ready to make the next step with the Marc VDS Racing Team. He certainly made an impressive debut on our bike. Our goal for next season is clear; to win the title that eluded us this year and, with Mika and Tito, I believe we have two riders more than capable of doing exactly that. I for one can’t wait for the 2014 season to get underway.”