2014 Moto2 Title Winner Esteve Rabat Bio When a 25-year old becomes a world champion at anything, there is temptation to think that the person had taken short cuts, was either lucky or rich, or all of the above.
After all, to become world champion in something as demanding as the Moto2 class of Grand Prix motorcycle road racing would require mastery of incredibly difficult skills in a very dangerous environment. That would take many years, right?In the case of Esteve “Tito” Rabat, the newly-crowned World Champion of Moto2, it has indeed taken many years and hard work to master a very difficult sport.Rabat’s first GP appearance was in the 125cc class at Valencia in 2005. In 2006, Tito started out with appearances at Jerez and Barcelona-Catalunya, which led to a Honda ride later that year and competition in 10 GP events.With a 125cc Repsol Honda mount in 2007, he achieved his first podium finish in China, placing third. That year he finished tenth overall in the World Championship points with a total of 74 and rode in 15 GP events, missing two due to an injured hand.He remained in the 125cc class in 2008, switching to the KTM team, where his teammate was future two-time MotoGP Champion Marc MarquezIt was in the 2008 season that Rabat experienced how dangerous his chosen profession could be when a serious crash at Catalunya resulted in a head injury requiring treatment with an induced coma. The incident didn’t dampen Rabat’s desire to compete. That year he finished fourteenth overall with 49 points on 16 starts.Switching to the Blusens Aprilia team in 2009, he finished sixteenth overall with 37 points on 16 starts. In 2010, he returned with the Blusens Aprilia team and stepped it up to finish sixth overall with 147 points in 17 starts.Rabat’s rookie season in Moto2 was 2011 with Blusens-STX Moto2. That season, he garnered 79 points in 17 races, good enough to finish 10th overall. The season included a third-place podium finish at the Indy GP, where he shared the podium with Marc Marquez and fellow Spaniard Pol Espargaro.Moving to the Pons 40 HP Tuenti team (Kalex) in 2012, Rabat finished seventh with 114 points in 17 starts, achieving one podium finish. His teammate Espargaro, meanwhile was contending for the title with Marquez, but Marquez took the title.In 2013, Rabat stayed with the Pons 40 HP Tuenti Kalex and took seven podiums, including three victories, and finished third with 215 points behind Espargaro — who won the title — and Scott Redding. By season’s end, he had announced his move for the 2014 season to the Marc VDS Racing Team where he was teamed with Finnish rider Mika Kallio.With Kallio as both his teammate and most intense competition, Rabat stepped up his game to an unprecedented level. In 17 of 18 rounds, he captured seven victories, 10 pole positions and 13 podium finishes, leading to a score of 326 points — enough to lock up the World Championship one round ahead of the season finale at Valencia.Kallio had gained momentum approaching mid-season, at one point only seven points behind first-place Rabat, but he would get no closer as Rabat pulled off victories at Brno, Silverstone and Misano.Rabat closed out the title battle at Sepang, Malaysia, despite finishing third, one spot behind Kallio. He still scored enough points to settle the matter for the season, finishing 37 points ahead of Kallio.Rabat is the only rider ever to lead Moto2 title points from the season’s start to its finish and he finished out of the top four but once, at Assen.Esteve “Tito” Rabat Biography
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!