Rabat takes superb first podium of the season as Espargaro escapes injury after heavy crash
Tito Rabat took his third Moto2 podium and the first of the 2013 season, finishing second at the Circuit of the Americas today, in a race won by Nico Terol while teammate Pol Espargaro didn’t finish after crashing out in the fourth lap.
The Tuenti HP 40 rider gradually improved and from 11th position as the field went over the line for the first time he went up to second when the chequered flag came out, after he passed Mika Kallio in the final corner. All of Tito’s podiums so far have been at non-European tracks, in Indianapolis, Motegi and now in Austin. In the 125cc class he was also three times on the rostrum, the first time in China 2007 and twice in 2010 in Jerez and Brno.
Less fortuante were his teammates Pol Espargaró and Axel Pons. Espargaro, winner in Qatar, crashed out of the race, but fortunately didn’t suffer any injuries despite losing his left boot on the heavy fall. Axel Pons was hit at the start and after already starting from far behind had to deal with a bent brake lever, but could finally recover until 17th position.
2. TITO RABAT “I’m very happy about this podium, but also convinced that I could have won if not for the hit at the start which almost forced me to give up with a bent clutch. I started to make up places and in the last corner I could pass Kallio to take second. During the race I felt comfortable, but I had to work hard because my gear ratio was a bit short and it was difficult to pass. The team did a great job and I want to say thanks, because without them this podium wouldn’t have been possible, just as all the other people who helped me to get here. Now we go to Jerez and I hope to keep up with the best and make up my points gap.”
17. AXEL PONS “It was a hard race. I was hit at the start and I had to close the throttle and go wide to put the brake lever back in place. That incident caused me to lose touch with the group and there I lost almost every chance to get into the points. I tried my best until the end with a good pace, making up more than ten places, but it wasn’t enough. I hope to do a good qualifying in Jerez, to avoid teh same issues at the start.”
POL ESPARGARÓ “It’s been a shame, because I was comfortable in the leading group and in the warmup we found a solution for a part of the problems we had in practice. I waited a little to attack, the group was big and I didn’t want to take too many risks. The crash was very quick, as the front closed and I saved it, the rear went away. I could have injured myself, because I even lost my boot, but luckily all it was in the end was a knock, a bit of a shock and zero points. Fortunately it’s only been two races and nobody escaped in the championship. I want to congratulate Tito for his podium finish and also the team for never giving up work during a weekend where he had a mountain of problems.”
Source: Pons Racing Press Release