2014 Sepang Moto2 Preview - Title Duel Continues2014 Sepang Moto2 Preview

If Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) had topped the podium at the Australian Grand Prix with at least two other riders between himself and teammate, Mika Kallio, the matter of the Moto2 World Championship would have been settled.

Unfortunately, Rabat just made the podium, finishing in third place behind Maverick Vinales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) and Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Sitag). As for Kallio, he finished fourth.

As a result, Rabat stepped a bit further ahead of Kallio in the points, increasing his edge from 38 to 41 points, but not enough to clinch the title; that may have to wait for this weekend’s Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit.

Meanwhile, Vinales shaved off some of the 32—point gap Kallio had on him, closing to 20 points out of second place. Despite that improvement, Vinales is basically out of the title hunt with only two rounds to go.

The Rabat/Kallio duo has owned the track most of the season, racking up 10 victories, 20 podiums and 12 pole positions so far.

No matter the outcome of the remainder of the season, Vinales has secured Rookie of the Year in Moto2 and will have a Suzuki factory mount for his move up to MotoGP in 2015.

Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Sitag) is in fourth place going into Sepang and has been improving his performance consistently down the stretch but with 88 points separating him from Vinales, overtaking third place in the standings is off the table and with only 10 points separating him from fifth place rider Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) he may do well to hang on to fourth.

Still, Luthi is coming off a strong second place finish at Phillip Island and a victory at Motegi; with a podium finish at Sepang in 2013, he stands to continue his strong performances.

The Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix gets underway with Moto2 FP1 at 10:55 a.m. local time on Friday, October 24.