While they might have been overshadowed by Marc Marquez' impressive debut in Moto2, Spanish rookies Pol Espargaro and Tito Rabat are ready now to take on 2012 in the Moto2 team of former 250 world champion Sito Pons, with technical support from Kalex. Espargaro and Rabat will share a garage with Axel Pons, making the team the largest in Moto2 for the 2012 season. The Pons Racing team had their official team launch today at the "40 Café" restaurant, located in the city center of Madrid. They head to Jerez next week for the final Moto2 test of the preseason, where all of the Moto2 teams will be working with GEO Tech engines for the first time.
Since Espargaro and Rabat joined Axel Pons at the Kalex Pons team at the end of 2011 season, Pol has consistently been the fastest of the three riders at every test session held so far. Espargaro switched from Speed Up to Kalex and immediately felt comfortable on the Kalex, the German machine that won in 2011 in the hands of Moto2 world champ Stefan Bradl: "I really want to start racing", Espargaro told Motomatters.com. "I now have more experience and that makes me feel much more confident. I think we have more chances to do well in 2012".
"Our first Moto2 season in 2011 was a bit scary, with all those fast, heavy four-stroke bikes heading in to the holeshot", continued Espargaro. "I was used to smaller 125 GP bikes and not having so many hungry riders ahead of me at the start of a race. All this was pretty intimidating for a rookie rider, but I think this season is going to be different for me in many respects. I did not expect so much change from the Speed Up to the Kalex bike, but I feel more confident and faster on the track now. Maybe that comes also from having more four stroke now, but I definitely feel faster".
Tito Rabat is another former Moto2 rookie returning in 2012. After a first season on the FTR he joins Kalex looking for winning machinery that could fit his growing talent. He spent the last few months living in a caravan at the paddock of the Almeria track, close to the city on Spain's Mediterranean coast. Rabat’s training program, switching between a 600cc four-stroke and his mountain bike took him from the race track to the desert last winter. Now he seems to be ready for the action: "This may be the best preseason of my life. Everything has been great with the new bike and also the relationship with the technical team", Rabat said. "So I’m just looking forward to racing in Qatar. One of the best points of the Kalex is that is lets me carry more corner speed, though I still have to get more confidence in the front end on corner entry".
The 2012 season will be the fourth for Axel Pons, who has been the victim of several terrifying crashes and serious injuries over the past few years. "There are no more excuses for me now", Axel said. "I think I can be fast at any track. Riders always want to achieve the best results possible, but it is a difficult goal because the level in Moto2 is so high now. But I won’t give up and will keep trying my best".