27 October 2014
Esteve Rabat dedicates Moto2 title to mum
“I want to dedicate this World Championship to my mum, because her memory motivates me to be the best I can every single day” – Esteve Rabat.
Tito Rabat was crowned Moto2 world champion with a third place finish in the penultimate round at Sepang, Malaysia on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Spaniard, who has led the championship since winning the opening race in Qatar, only needed to finish seventh to clinch his and the Marc VDS team's first ever world title.
However Rabat kept a high pace throughout to join Maverick Vinales and team-mate Mika Kallio on the rostrum. Rabat has dominated Moto2 this season, winning seven races and finishing on the podium a further six times.
“I am so, so happy, but I have no words. In the race today I pushed hard at the start, but at the end I decided to just manage the gap back to the riders behind me, to ensure a podium finish,” Rabat said. “It has not sunk in yet that I am World Champion, so I have no words, but thank you to the team because they pushed me everyday, they helped me everyday and they were with me every step of the way.
“Thanks also to Marc van der Straten, without whom this would not have been possible, to my family for their support and to Circuit Almeria for their help in recent years. I want to dedicate this World Championship to my mum, because her memory motivates me to be the best I can every single day.”
Team president Marc van der Straten added: “Today is a great day; for me personally, for the team and for Belgium. Seeing Tito Rabat step up to be crowned as the 2014 Moto2 World Champion is a memory that will stay with me. I am very proud of what he and the team have achieved this season.
“In 2010 we were the newcomers to the Moto2 paddock but our goal was very clear; to win the Moto2 World Championship. We came close in 2013 with Scott Redding, but this year we have dominated, not just with Tito, who is a worthy champion, but also with Mika, whose goal now is to secure second place at Valencia to give us a one-two in the championship, a feat that has not be accomplished by any team in the intermediate class since 2000. Well done Tito and well done team!”
While Rabat can enjoy the Valencia season finale, outgoing team-mate Kallio will have his sights on securing second in the standings. The Finn is currently 15 points clear of Vinales.
“Firstly, congratulations to Tito on the championship," said Kallio. "The key to being champion is to be fast and consistent at every racetrack, and he did that this season. At the beginning of the season we could do the same, but we lost too much ground over the last five or six races, where we had some rear grip issues and a good rhythm was difficult to find. But the season is not over and I want to end the year with a good result at Valencia for a number of reasons.
"Firstly, it's important to secure second in the championship, as Maverick is now only 15 points behind me. Secondly, it's always good to end the season with a win, as it boosts your confidence going into the winter and, probably most importantly, Valencia will be my last race for Marc VDS and I'd like to sign off after four years from the top step of the podium.”
Team principal Michael Bartholemy stated: “Commiserations to Mika, who saw his team-mate crowned champion today, but it's unlikely that Tito would have been so dominant this season without a rider of Mika's calibre to push him all the way every weekend. But Mika's job isn't finished yet; he's been second in the standings all year and that's how we want to see the season end in Valencia.”
2015 will be the first in which the number one plate has appeared on the Moto2 grid, with Rabat returning to defend his crown with Marc VDS.
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