Tito Rabat has signed a two-year deal to race for the Marc VDS Racing team in Moto2. Rabat will take the place of Scott Redding in the Marc VDS squad, whose move to the Gresini MotoGP squad is expected to be announced at Silverstone next week.
Rabat's move to join Marc VDS Racing is an interesting development for the Spaniard, given that he comes from the Tuenti HP 40 team of Sito Pons. Marc VDS and the Pons squad are the two top teams in Moto2, and both field the same Kalex chassis, and enjoy the same level of support from the German chassis company. However, Rabat's speed has sometimes caused him problems inside the Pons squad, which started the year focused on winning the Moto2 championship with Pol Espargaro. Rabat has regularly beaten Espargaro, sometimes taking valuable points from his teammate in Espargaro's quest to catch championship leader Scott Redding. Rabat will have undisputed number one rider status in the Marc VDS Racing team.
The second slot in the Marc VDS team is still open. The team are believed to have a number of options, and are said to be looking at some of the riders hoping to graduate from Moto3 at the end of this season. The team is also looking at expanding their Moto3 effort from one to two riders. Current rider Livio Loi has a contract with Marc VDS for next year, but the Belgian team is reported to be interested in signing Australian rider Jack Miller, who is in great demand after impressing on the underpowered FTR Honda. Miller has at least two other offers on the table, and is committed to staying in the Moto3 class next year, in order to compete for the championship.
Below is the press release from Marc VDS Racing team:
Marc VDS sign Tito Rabat for Moto2
Brno, Czech Republic - 24 August 2013: The Marc VDS Racing Team has reached an agreement with Esteve "Tito" Rabat that will see the 24-year-old Spaniard contest the Moto2 World Championship for the team in 2014 and 2015.
Runner up in the closely contested CEV 125cc Championship in 2006, the same year he made his full time Grand Prix debut, Rabat is currently enjoying his strongest Grand Prix season to date, sitting third in the championship standings as a result of two race wins and two podium finishes in the nine races contested so far.
The Marc VDS Racing Team will announce their full rider line up for the 2014 season in the coming weeks, with the possibility of a second Moto3 rider being added to the team's roster.
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"In Tito I'm confident that we've signed a rider who can challenge for the championship the next two years. His results this season have been impressive and I'm confident that we can take him to the next level, adding consistency to his obvious speed. I'm looking forward to welcoming Tito to the team at the end of this season, but first we must make sure we beat him to the championship title, as he's looking more of a threat with each race."
Marc van der Straten: President, Marc VDS Racing Team
"Over the past four years I think it's fair to say that we've established ourselves as one of the top teams in the Moto2 World Championship. This has been reflected in the calibre of the riders who are now approaching us for a ride next season. We had many to choose from, but Tito Rabat was head and shoulders above the other candidates. This year he's been fast, winning two races and emerging as a title contender during the second half of the season. I believe Tito is a perfect fit for our team. He will be a very welcome addition to the Marc VDS racing family and I'm looking forward to watching him fight for the title from the first race next season."