Le Mans, France – 18 May 2014: Mika Kallio strengthened his Moto2 World Championship challenge with a fantastic French Grand Prix victory today, handing the Marc VDS Racing Team a fourth win in five races to continue a dominant 2014 campaign.
Kallio took the lead from Simone Corsi on lap 19 and the ice cool Finn rode a faultless final phase of the race to take a second successive win by just over a second. It was a double celebration for the Marc VDS Racing squad in Le Mans today in front of proud team owner Marc van der Straten. Spanish rider Tito Rabat secured his fourth podium of the season after winning an exciting battle for third against Maverick Viñales and Luis Salom. A second double podium of 2014 for the Marc VDS Racing squad sees Rabat and Kallio split by just seven-points in the Championship chase heading to the next round in Mugello. Today’s 24-lap Moto3 race ended in disappointment for Livio Loi after he moved up from 25th on the grid to finish outside of the points in 20th.
Mika Kallio // Race Winner
“I am so happy to win this race because the start of the weekend wasn’t easy. We used the same setting we used to win the race at Jerez, but the bike didn’t work on this track. I couldn’t stop the bike on the brakes, but from Friday we have made the bike better and better and it felt great in the race. I pushed at the start but couldn’t open a gap like in Jerez. I decided to cool down when Corsi passed me and waited for the right time to attack. I pushed very hard in the final laps and when I saw I had a one second gap I knew I could manage it, even though it is never easy to win in Moto2. It is a great win for me but also for my crew, who were brilliant all weekend.”
Tito Rabat // 3rd
“The weekend went really well until the race. From FP1 I had a good rhythm and the team did a great job. In the race I didn’t make a good start and many riders passed me. I tried to push but it wasn’t possible to go, even with my usual smooth style. At the end I tried to overtake Corsi, but I made a mistake at Turn Four and went wide and that denied me second. I’m happy because this is the first time I’ve finished at Le Mans for many years but we have some work to do because Mika has had two really good races and he is looking very strong.”
Livio Loi // 20th
“I am not happy with the whole weekend here in Le Mans. I came here very confident I could achieve a positive result after a good test in Almeria. But from Friday I’ve not had any confidence with the bike to push comfortably at the limit. I need to re-group for Mugello and come back strong because the potential of the package that I have here with the Marc VDS Racing Team is much higher, as we saw in Argentina.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"That was another phenomenal ride from Mika. The way he managed the gap to Corsi in the final laps was very impressive, and it feels fantastic to take our fourth win of the season. It is even more special with Marc here again to share in our success. Tito’s podium could be very important in the final reckoning, but to see both our riders on the rostrum for the third time this season makes me incredibly proud to be part of this project. It was another disappointing result for Livio today, well below what we expected from him after his performance in Argentina. When his feeling with the bike is perfect he’s happy to race, but that perfect feeling is very rare indeed at this level and he needs to understand that we expect 100% commitment from him all the time, not just when it suits him. We’re not getting that at the moment and this needs to change, and fast.”