Historical 1-2 finish for Espargaro and Rabat at Catalunya, Pons takes first points of the season
The Tuenti HP 40 took the best possible result in the Catalunya Grand Prix, taking a double victory with Pol Espargaro in first and Tito Rabat second, while Axel Pons took his first points of the season.
At the Catalunya circuit, just a few kilometres from his home, it was the second win of the season for Pol Espargaro, his sixth in the Moto2 class and the eleventh in his world championship career, racking up a total of 36 podiums (15 in Moto2 and 21 in 125cc). Polyccio never won at Montmeló in the world championship and he changed that with an extraordinary race, beating his teammate Tito Rabat by just 0.081s over the line.
After two problem-filled races and a difficult start to the weekend, Tito Rabat surpassed himself in the race, following Pol at the beginning, leading halfway through and then fighting for the win until the chequered flag.
After this double victory, the fourth time Pol and Tito shared the podium, Pol Espargaró moves up from fifth to second position in the championship, now 35 points behind Scott Redding. Tito Rabat sits in third, 39 points behind.
Axel Pons, who started from very far behind, made up 15 places and took his first points of the season.
1. POL ESPARGARÓ “Today I made a dream come true which I had since I was little, winning at the circuit that’s right next to my home and make the Espargarins and all the fans cheer. It was a very difficult race, already on the grid the display on my bike broke and I did the whole race “blind”, without any information or partials, laptimes, rpm… And the rear tyre was slashed two laps before the end, had the race lasted half a lap more I wouldn’t have been able to defend the attack from Tito. I started well and started to push, trying to escape or stretch out the group. The former wasn’t possible, but the latter was. Halfway through the race, having no information on the screen and guided only by the pitboard, I let Tito pass to study him and make sure that Lüthi and Redding were far behind. Six laps to the end I decided to pass again and changee the pace, but the tyre was gone and I had to close all doors in the last lap and a half to not lose the race. The feeling of happiness was beyond description, because at home I never got the result which I wanted more than at any other place in the world. We are now second in the championship, the gap to Redding is less and we have to keep working, because there are eleven races still to go and time enough to achieve our goal.”
2. TITO RABAT “I tried everything until the last moment and I was very close to victory. I want to congratulate Pol for his triumph and because he was the stronger one, and also the Tuenti HP 40 team for this double victory which eluded them for so long. Our weekend started with some problems and bit by bit, and with a lot of work from the whole team, we could solve them. I think I did a smart race, first following Pol to open up a gap, then leading the race and in the end attacking until the finish line. After two races with negative results this second place gives us our confidence back and we are able to fight for the podium at all circuits.”
14. AXEL PONS “In the warmup we tested a setting that was different to the one in qualifying and the bike made a radical change which in the end allowed me to take the first two points of the season despite starting from 29th on the grid. I started well, my pace was similar to the first ten almost the entire race and little by little I passed other riders until 14th position. I took me a bit to get to the points positions, so now I hope to continue this way and get closer to the Top 10.”
Source: Pons Racing