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Rabat looks to extend advantage at home

Rabat looks to extend advantage at home

Tito Rabat will be looking to defend his Moto2™ World Championship lead in front of a home crowd as the intermediate class descends on Barcelona this weekend.

Rabat, who finished third overall in Moto2™ last year, has enjoyed an extremely strong start to the 2014 campaign: four pole positions from six, winning half of the races and failing to finish off the podium only once – and even then he was classified in fourth position. Curiously, last time out at Mugello marked his first fastest race lap of the campaign to date. He now targets a first Catalunya race victory, having finished second last season and tucked tight up behind team-mate Pol Espargaro at the finish.

The only rider other than Rabat who could lead the standings coming out of Barcelona is his Marc VDS Racing Team partner Mika Kallio, who since the Italian Grand Prix has also taken part in a day of testing at Mugello. The Finn currently sits 22 points in arrears of Rabat, meaning that he must win at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to stand any chance of heading up the championship table.

At the same time, others will be looking to challenge the championship-leading Marc VDS duo: Maverick Viñales and Luis Salom, for instance, now complete with yellow liveries following the confirmation of their new title sponsor. In fact, a titanic fight is emerging for third in the Riders’ Championship as Viñales, Dominique Aegerter and Simone Corsi are covered by just three points. Salom lies sixth and ten points behind his team-mate, having out-performed Viñales in Italy last time out. Also looking to challenge once again is reigning World Supersport champion Sam Lowes, who achieved a remarkable front row start amid the Tuscan surroundings of Mugello.

Curiously, from four Moto2™ races at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya so far since the category was inaugurated in 2010, as many different nationalities of rider have won the Grands Prix on behalf of Japan (Yuki Takahashi), Germany (Stefan Bradl), Italy (Andrea Iannone) and Spain (Pol Espargaro). Could another nation have a say this weekend? The likes of Finland and Mika Kallio will certainly hope so…

The 2014 Moto2™ Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya will commence at 12:20pm local time (GMT +2) on Sunday 15 June.


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