17 July 2014
Moto2: Rabat confirmed at Marc VDS for 2015
"I know he's had quite a few offers to make the step up to MotoGP next season" - Michael Bartholemy.
Moto2 World Championship leader Esteve Rabat will remain with the Marc VDS team for the 2015 season.
Should the Spaniard, who currently holds a 19-point lead over team-mate Mika Kallio, win this year's title he would thus become the first rider to attempt a defensive of a Moto2 crown.
Previous champions Toni Elias, Stefan Bradl, Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro all graduated to MotoGP the following season.
"I'm happy to stay with Marc VDS in 2015 for a number of reasons, but the main one is because they are as committed to winning races as I am," said Rabat. "I have a good team of people around me and they ensure I have everything I need to win, so why would I go anywhere else?
"Now everything is sorted we can focus on doing what we set out to do at the beginning of the season, which is to win races and the championship. Nobody has ever won the Moto2 World Championship and then returned the following year to defend the title, so I hope I will be the first."
Marc VDS confirmed that Rabat, who has won four of the nine races this year, had an option in his contract that allowed him to be released to make the move up to MotoGP should he be crowned champion.
"Obviously I'm pleased that Tito will remain with the Marc VDS Racing Team next year, as I know he's had quite a few offers to make the step up to MotoGP next season," said team principal Michael Bartholemy.
"That he's made the decision to remain with the team now, rather than waiting, also shows just how committed he is to the job at hand. With the decision about his future made, he can focus completely on his main goal for this season; winning his and the team's first ever World Championship title.”
The Rabat Moto2 announcement also suggests the chances of Marc VDS moving to MotoGP next year appear slim, since the Spaniard would have been the ideal rider choice. Meanwhile Kallio's 2015 plans are yet to be confirmed.
“When you have a rider in your team that isn't just leading the championship but pretty much dominating it, then you know that MotoGP teams are going to be knocking on his door, and that's exactly what's happened with Tito this season," said Marc VDS president Marc van der Straten.
"But, despite the offers, he's made the decision to remain with the Marc VDS Racing Team for another season and I'm proud that he feels his future lies with us.”
The four-stroke Moto2 class replaced the 250cc World Championship in 2010.
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