Esteve Rabat will switch from Pons to title rivals Marc VDS for the 2014 Moto2 World Championship.

The 24-year-old Spaniard has been one of the revelations of the Moto2 season, winning his first two grands prix - plus two further podium finishers and a debut pole - to hold third in the standings behind team-mate Pol Espargaro and present Marc VDS star Scott Redding.

Both Espargaro and Redding are moving to MotoGP next season - Espargaro with Tech 3 Yamaha, while title leader Redding is yet to name his team - leaving Rabat as the top rider available for next year.

Against the odds perhaps, Marc VDS - which like Pons runs the Kalex chassis - has now tempted Rabat away from the Spanish-based Pons' outfit to spearhead its challenge for the next two years.

"In Tito I'm confident that we've signed a rider who can challenge for the championship the next two years," declared team manager Michael Bartholemy. "His results this season have been impressive and I'm confident that we can take him to the next level, adding consistency to his obvious speed.

"I'm looking forward to welcoming Tito to the team at the end of this season, but first we must make sure we beat him to the championship title, as he's looking more of a threat with each race."

Team president Marc van der Straten added: "Over the past four years I think it's fair to say that we've established ourselves as one of the top teams in the Moto2 World Championship. This has been reflected in the calibre of the riders who are now approaching us for a ride next season.

"We had many to choose from, but Tito Rabat was head and shoulders above the other candidates. This year he's been fast, winning two races and emerging as a title contender during the second half of the season. I believe Tito is a perfect fit for our team. He will be a very welcome addition to the Marc VDS racing family and I'm looking forward to watching him fight for the title from the first race next season."

Rabat made his grand prix debut as a wild-card in the 125cc class in 2005, stepping up to Moto2 in 2011.

Former MotoGP rider Mika Kallio has been Redding's Moto2 team-mate since 2011. The experienced Finn's plans for next season are yet to announced. Marc VDS, which has claimed its first two grand prix wins with Redding this year, is also running young Belgian rookie Livio Loi in the Moto3 category this season.

Marc VDS 'will announce their full rider line up for the 2014 season in the coming weeks, with the possibility of a second Moto3 rider being added to the team's roster.'


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