Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS head east to Japan
Gosselies, Belgium – 5 October 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Tito Rabat and Álex Márquez depart Europe for Asia this week to contest the three overseas races, starting with the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.
Motegi marks the start of a gruelling schedule that will see Rabat and Márquez racing in Japan, Australia and Malaysia on consecutive weekends, before returning to Europe for the season finale at Valencia.
Rabat, who will move up to MotoGP with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in 2016, heads to Japan looking to keep his championship hopes alive after a win last time out in Aragon. It was the reigning World Champion’s second victory of the season and it edged him closer to current championship leader Johann Zarco, who finished sixth in Spain.
The Team Estrella Galicia rider trails Zarco by 78 points in the championship standings, a significant margin with just four races remaining, but Rabat is determined to go down fighting, as he looks to increase his win tally in his final four races as a Moto2 rider.
Márquez has won the Moto3 race in Japan the last two years and the 19-year-old Spaniard will be looking to a return to that same form this time around, after crashing out of the last two races in Misano and Aragon.
Despite the crashes the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider heads to Japan confident he can be competitive, after making significant advances with an updated chassis in Aragon, where he also secured his best ever qualifying position in Moto2. A podium finish remains the target for Márquez in the final four races of the season, after coming close with fourth place in both Brno and Silverstone.
“The championship situation isn’t impossible, but it is difficult, which means I have no pressure going into the last four races of the season. Japan is a special race that I like a lot, but then the same is true of Australia and Malaysia. My aim is to enjoy the last four races of the season and push to win in all of them. We made a big step with the suspension in Aragon, but we need to continue to work with Öhlins to find further improvements, especially in the slow corners. I like the flyaway races, it’s my favourite month in the season and, after Aragon, we head to Asia and Australia knowing we’re in good shape for these three overseas races.”
“We head to Japan after two zeros, with crashes in the last two races, but I was happy with the progress we made in Aragon. I put in my best qualifying performance of the season after improving throughout free practice and my feeling with the bike was good. Japan isn’t one of my favourite circuits, but it seems to suit my riding style as I have won there the past two years on the Moto3 bike. It will be a little different this time around, as it’s a stop start circuit that requires good stability under braking and the Moto2 bike is heavier and harder to stop compared to the Moto3. The updated chassis we used to good effect in Aragon should help with this, so I head to the first of the three overseas races feeling confident.”