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Rabat marks 150th Grand Prix start with victory

Rabat marks 150th Grand Prix start with victory

The Gran Premio d’Italia TIM saw Tito Rabat take his first victory of the 2015 season despite a late charge from Zarco.

Round six of the Moto2™ World Championship began as a very Swiss affair as Thomas Luthi and Dominique Aegerter both started strongly as soon as the lights went out. Luthi’s lead would not last long as the Le Mans winner suffered a crash as he pushed to increase the gap over Aegerter. Luthi was unhurt, saying after the race that scoring zero points hurt more than the crash itself.

Mugello has seen Dominique Aegerter return to his 2014 form as he and the team begin to fully understand the Kalex after racing the Suter for multiple seasons. Aegerter’s riding style of high corner entry speed and low mid corner speed makes him very difficult to pass, but Rabat did eventually manage. From here the 2014 Moto2™ champion attempted to push and expand his lead as best he could.

The excitement continued to the last lap as Johann Zarco, who qualified in sixth, made a late charge. Rabat had been able to maintain the gap between he and the Frenchman at over half a second in the latter stages of the race as Aegerter’s challenge faded. However, the ever-determined Zarco set a 1’52.685 on the final lap, Zarco’s personal best time of the race. A gap of just 0.308s split the Kalex pair as they finally crossed the line. “The last lap I was quite close but Rabat closed the door on the last corner. I tried to prepare the exit for the slipstream but I was too late. Overall, it was a good weekend apart from the Qualifying. I’m 31 points ahead in the championship so we had to be clever in the race,” commented Zarco.

Rabat’s victory is his first since Misano last season as he has struggled with front-end feel. “I had a little problem with the front, but we kept a good rhythm, the other guys were so close so I had to push so hard the entire race. I’m so happy to win my first race this season, especially at Mugello which is such a special track,” beamed an ecstatic Rabat. The Spaniard moves to second in the championship with 78 points but is still 31 points behind Zarco, more than a race win worth of points.

Third was a welcome return to the podium for Aegerter, who surprised even himself. “For sure I’m surprised by my pace! Leading the race for the first time this year I was a little scared, I didn’t know what to do! This is a perfect results after the start of the year,” he said.

Sam Lowes had displayed solid pace earlier in the weekend but was forced wide after contacting Simone Corsi at Turn one and had to settle for fourth. Corsi fell as a result, but was uninjured. Jonas Folger also fell while in podium contention, since claiming his second victory of the season in Jerez Folger has failed to score points.

Teammates Mika Kallio and Franco Morbidelli also fell after making contact with another rider, a disappointing weekend that ended Morbidelli’s run of top six finishes.

After two crashes in Jerez and Le Mans, Alex Rins was only able to manage 11th at Mugello having struggled all weekend.

Check out the full Moto2™ race results, and the latest World Championship standings.

Moto2, 2015, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA TIM, RAC, Dominique Aegerter, Johann Zarco, Tito Rabat, EG 0,0 Marc VDS, Ajo Motorsport, Technomag Racing Interwetten

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