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Third place for Rabat edges him closer to title win

Third place for Rabat edges him closer to title win

Tito Rabat secured his 12th podium finish of the season on Sunday at Phillip Island, coming home in third place and ensuring that this year’s Moto2™ World Champion will be a Marc VDS Racing Team rider.

The 16 points for third place means that the race winner, Maverick Viñales, can no longer catch Rabat in the championship. The only rider that can deny the 25 year-old Spaniard his first World Championship title is his teammate, Mika Kallio, who finished fourth, thus prolonging the battle at the top for at least another week.

It will still be a big ask for the 31 year-old Finn, who now sits 41 points behind Rabat in the standings with just two races remaining – at Sepang and Valencia.

In a highly successful year for their team Rabat and Kallio have been one-two in the World Championship standings since the first round in Qatar, taking 10 race wins, 20 podium finishes and 12 pole positions between them in the 16 races so far this season.

Rabat led Sunday’s race on more than one occasion but several slips let Viñales in for the win. He commented, “It was quite difficult. Something happened in turn 4, the wind direction must have changed or something because the track was a little bit colder. I was using the same braking reference, but I was going long every time, which was very strange. There were a lot of passes, a lot of movement in the race, so it was difficult.”

He added, “I am happy for the team today, because they have done a great job and I’ve never had the feeling before that I have here at Marc VDS, so they deserve to be champions. Now I have just two races to try and ensure the team rider crowned as champion is the one with number 53 on his bike!”

Kallio, meanwhile, lamented, “There’s not much to say about the race. We had the chance to win today, but it didn’t happen. The extra hard tyres we are forced to use here just don’t suit my riding style. While it’s true that it’s the same for everyone, I seem to have more problems with these tyres than the other riders. I felt like I was riding over the limit all the time trying to catch the guys ahead, many times almost crashing because I lost rear grip. For me the race was a disaster.”

Tags:
Moto2, 2014, TISSOT AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Tito Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Team

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