International flavour to 2014 Moto2™ battle

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Monday, 17 March 2014

The intermediate class of the MotoGP™ World Championship promises to produce some superb racing once again this year and picking a Qatar race winner from the talented list of Moto2™ participants is a challenge in itself.

Reigning Moto2™ World Champion Pol Espargaro, one of the trio of title winning Spaniards last year, has moved up to MotoGP™ accompanied by rival Scott Redding, whilst Tito Rabat remains in Moto2™ albeit with a new team - having switched to the Marc VDS Racing Team outfit over the winter.

Espargaro’s former team-mate and compatriot Rabat has looked competitive in testing with his new squad and, with his team-mate Mika Kallio who has 39 podiums to his name in the smaller classes, the pair expect to fight at the front in Qatar.

Interwetten Paddock Moto2 rider Tom Luthi could be a title contender, having also shown his strength during winter testing, whilst Idemitsu Honda Team Asia’s new recruit Takaaki Nakagami still aims for his first win following a run of second place finishes in the middle of last season.

The current Moto3™ World Champion Maverick Viñales and his colleague Luis Salom are debutants and may need time to adapt to the class, with plenty to learn as they get set to battle with their new team Tuenti HP 40; incidentally, the same Sito Pons-run team which took Espargaro to the crown in 2013.

Briton Sam Lowes comes into the Grand Prix scene as reigning World Supersport champion and joins the Speed Up squad. Could he feature on the podium on his debut? While the exciting new AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing entry is spearheaded by Frenchman Johann Zarco and the sole American in the intermediate class - Josh Herrin – and fans will be eager to see how competitive the new team is at Round 1.

In the Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 team, two more Spanish race winners are striving for further triumphs this campaign. Nico Terol signed off 2013 with his third victory of the year at Valencia, whilst his improving team-mate Jordi Torres won at Sachsenring and will want more podium results in his second full season.

The Moto2™ riders will be on track at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar from 6.55pm local time (GMT +3= for their opening FP1 session of the year.

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