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Rabat has title advantage as flyaway adventure commences

Rabat has title advantage as flyaway adventure commences

As the Moto2™ World Championship participants head east for this weekend’s Motul Grand Prix of Japan it is Tito Rabat who leads the way, with a 33 point advantage at the top of the standings.

Rabat finished second last time out at Aragon and that was a fourth consecutive podium result on the back of three successive victories, which have given him the advantage in the title fight with his Marc VDS Racing Team colleague Mika Kallio who could only manage seventh in Spain.

That was the first non-podium finish for Kallio since Catalunya and the Finn will need to use all the experience he has as he looks to reel Rabat back in starting in Japan, with back-to-back races in Australia and Malaysia also coming up as the season heads towards an intriguing conclusion.

Third in the intermediate class standings as the riders prepare for battle at Motegi is Maverick Viñales, who with his stunning Aragon triumph secured the Rookie of the Year award and subsequently had his exciting 2015 MotoGP™ ride with Suzuki confirmed.

Viñales who is still only 19 years-old, took the 14th victory of his Grand Prix career at Aragon. This is the same number of victories that Marco Melandri achieved whilst still a teenager and only four riders have scored more than 14 GP wins before reaching the age of 20: Marc Marquez (26 wins whilst still a teenager), Dani Pedrosa (21), Valentino Rossi (17) and Jorge Lorenzo (15).

That is impressive company to be keeping and Paginas Amarillas HP 40 rider Viñales could be a contender for another win in Japan.

The likes of Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Sitag) and Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham) should be in the podium hunt, whereas Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) will not return to competition before Valencia due to injury.

Corsi underwent surgery to fix a displaced and open fracture of his left ulna and to repair the tendons of the wrist after crashing at Silverstone and has not yet recovered sufficiently to return to racing. He will again be substituted for at the next three rounds by the 21 year-old French rider Florian Marino.

Tomoyoshi Koyama also gets a substitute ride in Japan as he steps in for Tetsuta Nagashima (Teluru Team JiR Webike) who likewise is still injured.

Tags:
Moto2, 2014, MOTUL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

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