Rabat returns to the podium
After a difficult start to the season, Tito Rabat made it back to the podium at the Spanish Grand Prix. The Moto2 World Champion title-holder finished third, while in MotoGP Scott Redding started scoring points again after a great fight to the finish.
It took three Grand Prix for Rabat and the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team to get the hang of the new Kalex chassis. After trouble at the first overseas events, the defending champion regained his place in Jerez, starting with a sumptuous pole position before making it to his first podium. After starting in the lead before letting Germany’s Folger overtake him, Rabat seemed destined for second place until Rins crashed into him while trying to overtake him in the last corner. Tito had to sidestep and Zarco seized the opportunity to take second place. Ninth to take the chequered flag, Alex Marquez confirmed the progress he’s achieved by making it to the top ten for the first time this season. In MotoGP, Scott Redding once again suffered from the heat. The Brit, despite inheriting a new chassis for the Spanish Grand Prix, struggled to find the grip that would have allowed him to feel comfortable on the scorching hot track in Jerez. After fighting it out with Barbera, Viñales, Hernandez and Petrucci, Redding finally finished thirteenth.
Thanks to the three points he scored in Jerez, Redding has moved up one place in the MotoGP championship standings, and is now twelfth. In Moto2, Rabat took advantage of his third place to move up to seventh place while Marquez is now fifteenth with fourteen points on his scoreboard.
If Assen is the only circuit in the championship to have figured on the Grand Prix calendar since its creation in 1949, Jerez is second in MotoGP seniority. The Andalusian track has been hosting the Spanish Grand Prix since 1987, and it has never failed to be a major event. “Jerez is always a very special race,” says Michael Bartholemy, the manager of the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team. “The Spanish Grand Prix usually marks the return of the championship to Europe, and there is always a party atmosphere with a large audience of fans.”Surrounded by hills, the twisting circuit in Jerez is also perfect for bullfights right up to the finish. In 1996, Mick Doohan was booed by a mob-like crowd after making Alex Crivillé crash at the last corner. And it was in exactly the same spot that Valentino Rossi hit Sete Gibernau before winning in 2005, and Marc Marquez hit Jorge Lorenzo two years ago to make it to the second step of the podium.