Tito Rabat has acknowledged that defending his Moto2 world crown will be tougher than winning it for the first time, but the 25-year old is more than ready for the challenge.

Rabat will be the first rider to defend the Moto2 crown since the class replaced the 250cc category in 2010. Riding with the number one in place of his preferred #53, the gangly Catalan sees the field of 2015 as more competitive than the year before.

But with a strong preseason behind him Rabat feels that he is in good shape going into the season opener at Qatar on March 29th.

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"Well, every day the feeling is better," he told journalists at the Estrella Galicia Marc VDS team launch on Thursday. "It's like everything. At the beginning of the season it could be hard for me but little by little I feel better at doing longer days without getting as tired. I think things with the bike and I are evolving well.

"You never know. Everyone tries different things with the bike but I think you will see a bigger fight compared to last year. You always have to push hard but nothing is easy and we like a challenge."

Along with completing an abundance of laps around the Almeria test track during the winter, Rabat has featured at the front of the official tests at Valencia and Jerez. He placed third fastest on both occasions. As he goes in to his fifth year in the intermediate grand prix category, he believes he knows exactly what is required to enjoy a successful 2015.

"Before last year I wasn't the world champion but everyone said that I was the favourite to win the championship. I had finished third overall [in 2013] but everyone said, 'Tito is the favourite.' In reality I hadn't won anything. Now that I've won I've learnt that I need to be focussed totally on myself, not others. In the past the path [towards winning] was cloudy. But many things have turned around. Now I know you have to be really focussed."

With his closest challenger Mika Kallio moving on from the Marc VDS team at the close of 2014, Rabat now sees the other side of the garage occupied by good friend and reigning Moto3 champion Alex Marquez. From what Rabat has seen throughout winter testing, he believes he will need to keep his eye on the younger of the Marquez brothers from the first race.

"Alex is going to be there from the start. He's gone really well on the bike. He comes from Moto3 where the bike is similar. Obviously there is more weight in Moto2; the power is four times more, not like before. But he's a big guy that has the strength to move the bike around. He learns at home with his brother and all his family. He has everything that's needed to be [at the front]. I don't see why he won't be there."