Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
Team Estrella Galicia 00 Marc VDS, Gran Premio Bwin de Espana – April 28th 2015
Rabat and Márquez head home to Jerez
Reigning Moto2 World Champion Tito Rabat is determined to get his title defence back on track, as Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS head for Jerez and this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, the first European round of the 2015 season.
Although Rabat qualified on the front row for all three of the overseas races, the 25-year-old Spaniard has yet to finish on the podium this season after problems in the races in Qatar and Argentina. A fourth place in Austin is his best result so far this year, but the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider has his sights set firmly on the podium this weekend at his home Grand Prix in Jerez, the track at which he claimed his first ever race win in Moto2 just two years ago.
For the first time this season Álex Márquez will be returning to a track at which he’s tested previously with the Kalex Moto2 bike, although dry track time was limited by inclement weather during both preseason outings at Jerez. Márquez, who celebrated his 19th birthday just last week and will make his 50th GP start this weekend, has scored points in all three races this season, but knows exactly where he needs to improve if he is to claim the top ten finish that has so far eluded him.
This weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez is the first of four races on Spanish soil this season and it kicks off a hectic schedule that will see Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS competing in six races in the space of just 11 weeks.
“I’ve been on the pace and competitive since the start of the season but, for one reason or another, I didn’t get the results we were expecting in the overseas races. Now, as we head to Spain for the first of the European races, I need to draw a line under what’s gone before and start again this weekend. We’re only three races in and the season is long. Yes, we’ve made more work for ourselves, but every race we improved the bike and we were fast; and being fast is the most important thing. If we can qualify well and I can avoid any problems at the start of the race then I think it’s possible to fight for the podium again this weekend in Jerez.”
“Riding in front of your home crowd is always special for a rider but equally important is that in Jerez we will be able to refer back to data collected during testing for the first time this season. We need to work to improve my feeling with the front of the bike mid-corner, as this was the biggest issue for me in Argentina. We can see from comparing my data with Tito’s that this is where I am losing almost all my time at the moment, so it’s important that we focus on this during practice and qualifying in order to find a solution ahead of the race. I am looking forward to the weekend ahead and the fact that we’re racing in Spain just adds to my motivation.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“We need to mark our return to Europe with a return to the winning ways that saw us dominating the championship last season. Tito has the speed, that’s obvious, but he needs to avoid the problems at the start of the race that robbed him of decent results in both Qatar and Argentina. Back on his home ground, at a track he knows well, I’m sure we will see a more calm and calculating Tito Rabat back at the front this weekend. Álex made another step forward with the bike in Argentina, where he scored points once again, but we still need to work on his feeling with the bike mid-corner. If we can improve in this area then I think we will see Álex challenging for his first top ten finish of the season in Jerez.”