Espargaro takes first podium of the season with Rabat right behind as Pons finishes 22nd

 In Moto2, News

With Pol Espargaró in third and Tito Rabat finishing fourth, it’s been a great race for the Pons Racing Team in Qatar, scene of the first Grand Prix of 2012, after the riders were sitting comfortably in first and second position throughout the first part of the race.

But in the final stages they were overtaken by Marc Márquez and Italian Andrea Iannone. Teammate Axel Pons finished the race in 22nd position after managing to move up to 19th just one lap before the finish line.

3. POL ESPARGARÓ “Getting on the podium is always a reason to be happy, but in this case I wanted a bit more, because my pace was better than what I did in the race. At Qatar we encountered a problem with bumping on the front wheel which we didn’t have at any other circuit and being third under these conditions is a great result. I was leading for many laps and rode comfortably, but with six or seven laps to go I had to look back, because I couldn’t control the bike under braking, and seeing that I didn’t get away from the group I knew that I couldn’t win. At this moment I decided to hang on to the fourth position, but the fight between Marquez and Lüthi gave me a second chance which I gave everything for not to let it go unused. I’d say this was a constructive loss, because it allowed us to see our weak spots and know what we need to work on to be more competitive. Now I will briefly celebrate this podium and then start thinking about Jerez, where I hope to stay on this good way and show that we are prepared to fight for the Moto2 championship.”

4. TITO RABAT “I’m very happy about this fourth place, because I was in the group fighting for victory and also was riding in first position. At the beginning I wasn’t comfortable with the front tyre and was also held up by Lüthi. Afterwards I started to find my rhythm, but I lacked a little bit to repeat the laptimes from yesterday’s session. It’s been the first race of the season and being so close to the podium gives me a lot of confidence, especially after being at the front in all practice sessions and the race. I had a lot of fun and the season looks to be very exciting. The team did a great job and from now on I hope to make a further step and get on the podium, something I aim to achieve with the support from all the fans at Jerez.”

22. AXEL PONS “It’s been a very tough weekend which showed us very clearly that we have to keep working hard to get to the positions we want. It’s just the first race of the season and now I only think about going to Jerez to compensate for this result and be closer to the points. The team is working hard to help me and I’m also happy, because Pol got on the podium and Tito was right in the battle, these results still give a lot of motivation to everyone.”

SITO PONS, TEAM MANAGER “Starting the season with a podium and a fourth place is a great result for the team. Pol Espargaró and Tito Rabat were fighting for first and second the whole time, also during all the practice sessions throughout the weekend the were among the first. We went to Qatar thinking that we have a team to fight for the title and after this first Grand Prix I’m still convinced of that.”

Source: Pons Racing

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