The top two teams in the Honda-powered Moto2 series arrive at Le Mans fresh from separate test sessions in Spain. Team-mates Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) spent two days at Almeria to fine-tune the set-up of their machines. Both riders announced themselves happy with progress which will make them difficult to beat – at the moment the pair hold first and second in the championship following Rabat’s victories in Qatar and Argentina and Kallio’s first win of the year at Jerez.
If anyone can take the fight to the Belgian-based team it is Moto2 rookie and reigning Moto3 World Champion Maverick Vinales (Pons HP 40, Kalex), who won his first race in the intermediate class in Texas last month and also won last year’s Moto3 race at Le Mans. Vinales could only manage fifth at Jerez, but after an intense test session at Aragon the 19-year-old says he is ready to push towards the front once again.
Swiss charger Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert, Suter) is full of optimism for Le Mans, having had a superb start to his fifth season in Moto2, claiming a career-best second-place finish at Jerez, following a third place in Texas and a close-run fourth in Argentina.
Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing, Forward KLX) is fifth in the standings, despite a crash at Jerez, and will be looking to get back in the running at Le Mans, along with Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock, Suter) who had difficult outings at Jerez and in Argentina.
Local star Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham, Caterham Suter) hopes for his best weekend of the year following a tough start to 2014 that saw the Frenchman take his first points of the season at round four at Jerez.
Moto2 rider quotes
Marc VDS Racing Team rider Tito Rabat says:
“To test at Almeria, my favourite circuit, with the team was like a dream for me. I really enjoyed the two days, as it was a chance to get to know everyone in the team even better, without the pressures of a race weekend. Also I got to spend some time with Marc van der Straten, our team owner. I know the Almeria circuit very well, so it was a great opportunity to see where we can improve with the bike and we are well prepared for Le Mans next week. We still have work to do, but the aim in France will remain the same; to win.”
Marc VDS Racing Team rider Mika Kallio says:
“The data we’ve collected over the first four races this season gave us some ideas as to how we could improve the bike, but it’s not possible to test these changes during a hectic race weekend. The two-days at Almeria provided an ideal opportunity for us to try seven or eight different things with the set up, and the results were quite positive. Now we head to Le Mans, which isn’t one of my favourite tracks as it’s a bit stop start, but it’s a circuit that I’ve gone well on in the past. Hopefully the work we did in Almeria will pay dividends next weekend in France.”
Pons HP 40 rider Maverick Vinales says:
“I’m very happy with the test we did at Aragon. It was very intense because we rode a lot of laps and tried many things with the bike. I think it went very well. The work we did there will help us at the GP of Aragon and also for Le Mans where I am eager to continue the good direction we have taken so far.”