Phillip Island, Australia – 19 October 2014: Tito Rabat secured his 12th podium finish of the season at Phillip Island today, coming home in third place and ensuring that this year’s Moto2 World Champion will be a Marc VDS rider.
The 16 points for third place means that today’s race winner, Maverick Viñales, can no longer catch Rabat in the championship. The only rider that can deny the 25-year-old Spaniard his first World Championship title is his Marc VDS teammate, Mika Kallio, who finished fourth today.
It will be a big ask for the 31-year-old Finn, who now sits 41 points behind Rabat in the championship standings with just two races – at Sepang and Valencia – remaining of the 2014 season.
Today’s result also means that Marc VDS will be the first Belgian team to win a World Championship in any class in the 65-year history of Grand Prix racing. Rabat and Kallio have been one-two in the championship standings since the first round in Qatar, taking 10 race wins, 20 podium finishes and 12 pole positions between them in the 16 races so far this season.
Jorge Navarro also enjoyed success at Phillip Island aboard his Kalex-KTM, finishing today’s Moto3 race in 12th position, his best finish since joining the Marc VDS Racing Team at Indianapolis in August.
Tito Rabat // 3rd
“Today was quite difficult. Something happened in turn four; the wind direction must have changed or something because the track was a little bit colder. I was using the same braking reference, but I was going long every time, which was very strange. There were a lot of passes, a lot of movement in the race, so it was difficult. I am happy for the team today, because they have done a great job and I’ve never had the feeling before that I have here at Marc VDS, so they deserve to be team champions. Now I have just two races to try and ensure the team rider crowned as champion is the one with number 53 on his bike!”
Mika Kallio // 4th
“There’s not much to say about today. We had the chance to win today, but it didn’t happen. The extra hard tyres we are forced to use here just don’t suit my riding style. While it’s true that it’s the same for everyone, I seem to have more problems with these tyres than the other riders. Today I felt like I was riding over the limit all the time trying to catch the guys ahead, many times almost crashing because I lost rear grip. I hate these tyres; it’s as simple as that. For me, today’s race was a disaster.”
Jorge Navarro // 12th
“I’m happy with today, because we’ve worked really hard this weekend and we knew we had to make a good race after two races with zero points. The race was hard, because a lot of riders were very aggressive in the opening laps, but I decided to be a little cautious at first because it was important to finish today and I knew it was going to be a long race. In the end I managed to work my way up through the field to finish 12th, my best result in the World Championship. Now we need to keep working and finish the season in the best way we can.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“It was pretty obvious that all the riders were struggling for grip today, as I don’t think I’ve seen so many mistakes from the leading group before. It would have been easy for Tito or Mika to make a mistake that put them out of the race, but they both rode intelligently to score important points. Third place for Tito means that only Mika can catch him in the championship now, so Marc VDS will be Moto2 World Champions at the end of the season. It’s the first time a Belgian team has won a Grand Prix World Championship, which, as a Belgian, makes me very proud. I suspect our President, Marc van der Straten, will also be very proud of what his team has achieved, and rightly so. But, while we’re a Belgian team, we count amongst our number many different nationalities and, to them, I’d like to say thank you for all their hard work and dedication this season. Now we just need to see which of our two riders will be crowned 2014 Moto2 World Champion and the end of the season.”