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Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS had rather a good year in 2016 – becoming the first Independent Team to win a premier class race in almost ten years with the veritable Jack Miller in Assen, and taking an incredible run of podiums and top results in Moto2™ with Franco Morbidelli and Alex Marquez. To celebrate the season, the team took over Team Principal Michael Bartholemy’s hometown of Eupen, with Marquez and MotoGP™ riders Tito Rabat and Jack Miller in attendance to close out the year in style with a vareity of events - including the team's customary kart race.
On Saturday, Marquez rode through the streets of the town – accompanied by a police escort - to end the parade in the centre of the city at a team display, where he was then joined by teammates Miller and Rabat. Marquez then took part in an event for the Biathlon World Team – alongside Miller despite the Australian’s recent surgery – on the Klötzerbahn, in which the 2014 Moto3™ World Champion was challenged to cover 400m on a ski machine before shooting a 60mm target at a distance of 10 metres – something Miller, Rabat and other members of the team also tried out, with the Ausssie coming out on top. The riders - minus Franco Morbidelli, who is recovering from minor surgery to remove a pin from his leg as the off-season begins - also had an autograph session for fans in the city, before the bigger competition got underway the following day.
Sunday saw the squad stage their by-now traditional fan day at Karting Eupen - begnning with some mini bike races as Marquez, Miller and even EG0,0 Marc VDS rider coach Stefan Prein - winner of the 1990 Yugoslavian 125 GP - took on the challenge, with varying degrees of success.
Once mini bike antics were over, business then got down to karting, with a few races getting the team warmed up ready for the main event - a 90 minute endurance race with the team's six karts taking on more than twenty others for the silverware. After a disappointing 2015 result for the hosts, 2016 didn't provide much more to celebrate - with the highest-placed kart from the team coming home in P13 and Marquez' kart - with his mechanics - in P20; a little further down the timesheets than the Champions and race winners are accustomed to. Next up? The first Sepang Test for MotoGP™ at the end of January.
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