Esteve Rabat has given himself the perfect platform from which to clinch the 2014 Moto2 championship tomorrow after claiming pole position at Phillip Island. The Spaniard needs to outscore his teammate Mika Kallio by twelve points to wrap up the championship and will have Caterham’s Johann Zarco between himself and his title rival on tomorrow’s grid.
Having dominated the preceding practice sessions, Rabat picked up where he left off in qualifying, topping the leaderboard throughout. ‘Tito’ later revealed that his session was complicated by a right hand issue and explained the approach he will take to the biggest race of his life tomorrow.
“So far we’ve made a perfect weekend, working step by step and fastest in every session, but I had a small problem in qualifying because I got something on my right glove and my fingers were stuck together, which made things a bit difficult. But I got pole position and I’m happy with that; tomorrow I will try to make a good start and find my rhythm in the first few laps. I’m only thinking about winning the race; if I thought about the championship then that would be a problem!”
Zarco closed to within 0.015s in the end but couldn’t wrestle pole away from Rabat. The Frenchman did do enough to hold off Kallio though who bounced back from two sizeable accidents on Friday to secure a front row starting spot.
Maverick Vinales heads row two although a poor final sector potentially cost him a shot at pole. The rookie of the year will be joined on the second row by Motegi victor Thomas Luthi and Intact GP’s Sandro Cortese. Sam Lowes will start seventh despite a crash late in the session which wiped out Thitipong Warokorn and will have Jordi Torres and Xavier Simeon for company on row three.