Pol Espargaro awarded maiden victory as rain truncates Jerez Moto2 race

Pol Espargaro beat Marc Marquez and claimed his maiden Moto2 victory in a rain-shortened thriller at Jerez

Pol Espargaro awarded maiden victory as rain truncates Jerez Moto2 race

The race was stopped with eight laps to go as rain arrived. Marquez had passed Espargaro and rapidly built a lead when the red flags flew, but with the race being reset one lap it was the Pons man who was handed victory.

Espargaro had only come to the fore late on in a race in which the leader was never able to build a clear advantage as Thomas Luthi (Paddock Suter), Marquez (Monlau Suter), Scott Redding (Marc VDS Kalex) and Espargaro all took turns at the front.

Redding was the star early on, working his way through from 12th on the grid to capture the lead from Luthi when the Swiss rider made a mistake on lap seven.

His spell at the front lasted just four laps - during which he was passed by and then repassed Marquez - before Luthi outdragged him down into Turn 1. Redding then dropped back, eventually finishing fourth - like Espargaro gaining one position on countback.

Out front Luthi fell victim to a decisive but fair pass by Marquez going into the final turn of lap 15, which forced him wide and allowed Espargaro to come through into second.

Espargaro then shadowed Marquez for two more laps before diving past on lap 17. His lead lasted all of one lap - Marquez coming through at the start of the 18th - but his timing was impeccable as the race was called early, handing him victory.

Luthi finished third ahead of Redding and Kalex's Takaaki Nakagami, who had been closing on the lead quartet until rain started to fall.

Claudio Corti finished seventh, ahead of Mika Kallio - the latter having been part of the lead battle until running wide and through the gravel on lap 13.

Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP Suter), Toni Elias (Aspar Suter) and Johann Zarco (JIR Motobi) rounded out the top 10.

Results - 17 laps:
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap
1. Pol Espargaro Pons Kalex 2m00.597s 2. Marc Marquez Monlau Suter + 0.241s 3. Thomas Luthi Paddock Suter + 0.483s 4. Scott Redding Marc VDS Kalex + 4.414s 5. Takaaki Nakagami Italtrans Kalex + 4.837s 6. Claudio Corti Italtrans Kalex + 5.881s 7. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Kalex + 6.149s 8. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter + 7.097s 9. Toni Elias Aspar Suter + 7.866s 10. Johann Zarco JIR Motobi + 8.680s 11. Bradley Smith Tech 3 + 9.382s 12. Alex de Angelis Forward Suter + 9.768s 13. Xavier Simeon Tech 3 + 10.433s 14. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Speed Up + 31.366s 15. Gino Rea Gresini Moriwaki + 31.504s 16. Anthony West QMMF Moriwaki + 34.172s 17. Simone Corsi Ioda FTR + 34.450s 18. Axel Pons Pons Kalex + 36.410s 19. Ricard Cardus Arguinano AJR + 36.803s 20. Angel Rodriguez SAG FTR + 37.449s 21. Yuki Takahashi Forward Suter + 39.465s 22. Randy Krummenacher Switzerland Kalex + 45.782s 23. Julian Simon Avintia FTR + 46.163s 24. Alexander Lundh MZ FTR + 46.251s 25. Roberto Rolfo Technomag-CIP Suter + 59.593s 26. Ratthapark Wilairot Gresini Moriwaki + 59.987s 27. Nicolas Terol Aspar Suter + 1m01.010s 28. Esteve Rabat Pons Kalex + 1 lap Retirements: Max Neukirchner Kiefer Kalex 12 laps Mike di Meglio Speed Master Speed Up 8 laps Marco Colandrea SAG FTR 6 laps Elena Rosell QMMF Moriwaki 4 laps
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Series Moto2
Author Sam Tremayne