Espargaro and Rabat aiming for return to top spots in Misano
Tension is high in the duel for the Moto2 World Championship, with Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) needing a strong result this weekend if he is to keep championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) in sight. Two weeks ago Redding scored a stunning home-race victory at Silverstone while Espargaro lost ground with a difficult ride to eighth place.
Both men have already confirmed their graduation to MotoGP next year, with Redding riding a Honda for the Gresini team and Espargaro aboard a Yamaha.
The Briton and the Spaniard are the main men in the Moto2 title race – with three wins each so far – but they are not the only riders in with a chance of lifting MotoGP’s intermediate crown. Their respective team-mates are the other riders in the hunt, with Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) currently third, 19 points behind Espargaro, and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) a further ten points adrift.
The Misano circuit is tight and twisting, dominated by numerous heavy-braking areas and mostly slow-speed corners, apart from the two high-speed right-handers that take riders off the back straight. Misano is a clockwise circuit, but it was originally anti-clockwise.
Pol Espargaro, Tuenti HP40 Pons: “We come to Misano confident that we can put the difficult weekend of Silverstone behind us. Although we only had a few minor difficulties there – some issues with the set-up and a crash in warm-up – Moto2 is such a close category that one little thing can lose you the race. But that was only the second time in six races that we hadn’t closed the points gap on Scott, so I am confident we can once again close the gap at Misano.”
Esteve Rabat, Tuenti HP 40 Pons: “We missed the podium at Silverstone by 0.048 seconds, so we will work very hard to make sure we do better at Misano. I had some issues early in the race which held me back and when I caught the leading group I couldn’t overtake, even though I was riding faster than them. We need to make sure we have a perfect run this weekend. I think we can have a good few days at Misano and with a little luck we can be back on the podium.”
Source: Honda Racing