Currently third in the Moto2 championship, Esteve ‘Tito’ Rabat has impressed rival Kalex team Marc VDS enough for them to lure him away from current squad Tuenti HP 40, after taking his first two wins and debut podium for the Pons outfit this season.
With championship challenging rivals Scott Redding and Rabat’s current team-mate Pol Espargaro both MotoGP bound (to Gresini – unconfirmed- and Tech3 respectively) Rabat was left with many offers as a race-winning rider in the intermediate class, but has chosen Marc VDS as his new home after the agreement rumoured to have been reached last weekend in Indianapolis was signed and confirmed ahead of today’s qualifying session in Brno.
The 24-year-old has signed a two year deal with the Belgian-based team so will remain there until 2015.
Team Principal Michael Bartholemy is happy to have a rider capable of fighting for the title as the squad’s first announced rider:
“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.”
Team President Marc Van Der Straten spoke of the teams improvements, allowing them to pick and choose more freely when it comes to contract time:
“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.”
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.