Gosselies, Belgium – 4 November 2014: While Tito Rabat heads to Valencia this weekend as the newly crowned Moto2 World Champion, the job is far from over for his Marc VDS teammate, Mika Kallio.
The Finn, who will celebrate his 32nd birthday on Saturday, heads to Valencia determined to see off the challenge from Maverick Viñales for second place in the championship standings.
A run of form for the Spaniard that has seen him win three of the last four races means Kallio’s advantage in the standings is now down to 15 points, a gap that the Marc VDS rider is confident he can maintain this weekend in the final race of the 2014 season.
If Kallio achieves his aim of finishing second in the championship this weekend at Valencia, it will be the first time that a team has finished one-two in the intermediate class standings since Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano did it for Yamaha back in 2000.
For Rabat the pressure is off and the 25-year-old Spaniard is looking forward to racing in front of his home crowd as the newly crowned World Champion this weekend. However, wrapping up the championship with one round to go hasn’t changed Rabat’s approach and he heads to Valencia looking for his eighth win of the season.
For Moto3 rider, Jorge Navarro, this weekend marks not just a return to a track he knows, but also to his hometown. The 18-year-old Valenciano has scored points with 12th place in the last two races and is keen to break into the top ten in what will be his final appearance for the Marc VDS Racing Team in front of his home crowd this weekend.
“I’m happy to be heading to Valencia without the pressure of having to fight for the championship, as it means this weekend will be a little more relaxed than previous races. It will be an unbelievable feeling to race for the first time as the World Champion in front of my home crowd, but while the pressure is less the goal remains the same. I will be pushing like always in Valencia, because a win would be the perfect way to end what has been an almost perfect season. Who knows, maybe less pressure will make me faster!”
“It is important for me to finish the season with a good result this weekend in Valencia. I need to secure second place in the championship at the final race and, if all goes well this weekend then I think this is possible. Valencia has been a good track for me in the past and 15 points is still a relatively big advantage with only one race remaining. It’s always good to end the season with a win, as it carries you through the long winter break and, probably most importantly, Valencia will be my final race for Marc VDS and I’d like to sign off after four years from the top step of the podium.”
“This weekend is a very important one for me, as I live very near to the circuit and this is very much my home race. It’s also my final race in Moto3 for the Marc VDS Racing Team, so it’s even more important to end the season with a good result. Valencia is a track I like a lot and we arrive in Spain off the back off two good races in Australia and Malaysia. If we can continue in this direction then, hopefully, I can improve on my best result in Moto3 this weekend, with a top ten finish being the ultimate target on Sunday.”