Marc VDS signs Moto2 champion Rabat for 2016

The Marc VDS team has confirmed that Esteve Rabat will be joining its premier class operation for 2016.

Marc VDS signs Moto2 champion Rabat for 2016
Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Honda
Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Honda
Tito Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Team
Tito Rabat, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Tito Rabat, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Jack Miller, Team LCR Honda
Jack Miller, Team LCR Honda
Yonny Hernandez, Pramac Racing Ducati

The Belgian squad, which took Rabat to last year's Moto2 title, entered MotoGP at the start of the year with Scott Redding as its sole rider aboard a satellite Honda RC213V.

But with the Brit having opted to switch to Pramac Ducati for 2016, 26-year-old Rabat - currently second in the Moto2 standings after staying in the intermediate class to defend his title - was always the prime candidate to replace Redding.

“The objective of my life was to, first of all, arrive to MotoGP and then to make results in the premier class," said Rabat.

"I know stepping up to MotoGP on the factory Honda RC213V isn’t going to be easy, but I have all the winter to prepare, to make sure I’m strong and ready for pre-season testing.

"It’s going to be a steep learning curve, but the goal will be to improve step by step so that we’re ready for the first race in Qatar.”

Rabat had a taste of the Marc VDS Honda during Monday's Michelin tyre test at Aragon, which the Spaniard described as an "incredible experience."

“The first time you ride this bike you just aren’t prepared for it," he added. "There is so much speed, such hard acceleration and the corners arrive far too early!

"Once I’d adapted to the speed, the power and the carbon brakes I was able to understand a little more how the bike works and go a little faster."

Rabat's Moto2 seat is expected to go to Franco Morbidelli, who will join Alex Marquez, the younger brother of MotoGP champion Marc.

Miller set for second seat

Although it has yet to be announced, joining Rabat on a second Marc VDS bike in the premier class is likely to be Jack Miller, who has had a tough debut MotoGP season on board an LCR-run Open-class Honda after stepping up directly from Moto3.

Honda is believed to be footing the bill for team's expansion, with Miller entering the second year of a three-year contract with the Japanese factory.

Earlier in the year, Miller had seemed poised for a move to Aspar Honda, but the Spanish team is looking increasingly likely to make a switch to Ducati machinery for 2016, having already confirmed Yonny Hernandez as its first rider for next season.

2016 MotoGP line-up so far

Riders in italics have yet to be confirmed

Movistar Yamaha

 Valentino Rossi

 Jorge Lorenzo

Repsol Honda

 Marc Marquez

 Dani Pedrosa

Ducati

 Andrea Dovizioso

 Andrea Iannone

Suzuki

 Aleix Espargaro

 Maverick Vinales

Aprilia

 Alvaro Bautista

 Stefan Bradl

Tech 3 Yamaha

 Pol Espargaro

 Bradley Smith

LCR Honda  Cal Crutchlow
Marc VDS Honda

 Esteve Rabat

 Jack Miller

Pramac Ducati

 Danilo Petrucci

 Scott Redding

Avintia Ducati

 Hector Barbera

 Loris Baz

Aspar Ducati

 Yonny Hernandez

 Eugene Laverty

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