Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP/Moto2 News
Team Estrella Galicia 00 Marc VDS Moto2 team, GP of Italy Mugello – May 26th 2015
Moto2: Rabat to make 150th Grand Prix start at Mugello
Gosselies, Belgium – 26 May 2015: Reigning Moto2 World Champion Tito Rabat heads into this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, the 150th Grand Prix race of his career, still chasing that elusive first win of the season.
Rabat, who celebrated his 26th birthday yesterday, dominated proceedings in Mugello last year, claiming pole position on Saturday before going on to set a new circuit record on his way to his third win of the season on Sunday.
It is this success that Rabat is keen to repeat this weekend, after getting his title defence back on track with podium finishes in the previous two races in Jerez and Le Mans. The Spaniard currently lies sixth in the championship standings, 36 points adrift of series leader Johann Zarco, a gap he is determined to close in Mugello.
Reigning Moto3 World Champion Álex Márquez has so far endured a troublesome transition to Moto2, but the 19-year-old Spaniard heads to Italy as motivated as ever and determined to rebuild his confidence with a strong showing in Mugello.
“The last two races have been good, but that won’t change my approach. I always go into the weekend ready to work hard together with the team, to try and fight for the win on Sunday and that will be the same in Mugello. What does change is the situation and the situation is different this year compared to last. We are not where we expected to be right now, but I’m happy with my bike, happy with my team and happy with my performance, so if I focus on the job at hand and give my maximum like always then I know the results will come. Mugello is one of my favourite tracks; it’s so fast, so nice to ride and the atmosphere is always electric. I’m looking forward to the weekend ahead.”
“In Mugello it’s important that we find a good set up on the bike earlier in the weekend. Previously we’ve still been making improvements as late as warm up but not benefitting from them in the race because of our qualifying position. We need to speed up this process so that we go into qualifying more competitive and able to push for a better grid position. Like a lot of riders I count Mugello as one of my favourite tracks. I like racing there and when you enjoy riding the bike it’s much easier to focus on the positive and to rebuild confidence.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Mugello will be an interesting weekend in terms of the championship. Tito had a shaky start to the season, but his results in Jerez and Le Mans show quite clearly that he’s now got to grips with the 2015 Kalex and his confidence has returned. We know from last year that Tito can win on any track and this is a major advantage compared to his championship rivals. Some people have written Tito’s title challenge off already, but then they did that last year when he didn’t win in Jerez and it was equally premature then. This weekend Álex needs to forget Le Mans, hit the reset button and enjoy riding the bike once again. If he can do that then I’m sure he will quickly regain the confidence that he was missing in France.”