The Espargaró chase continues in Texas

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Monday, 15 April 2013

Qatar delivered a dramatic opening to the 2013 Moto2™ campaign, as Britain’s Scott Redding so nearly spoiled Pol Espargaró’s perfect opening start to the year. It was the pre-season favourite who prevailed and he remains the benchmark as the sport heads to Circuit of the Americas (COTA) for the first time.

He may have started from pole position at Losail, but Tuenti HP 40’s Espargaró fell behind both Marc VDS Racing Team’s Redding and Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami in the initial stages. He would fight back. Japan’s Nakagami fell to third but still picked up a well-deserved career-first podium finish, whereas Redding made a recovery of his own and touched Espargaró’s bike on a highly dramatic final lap.

Just as adaption to their 2013 machines in race trim has became more familiar, the learning starts all over again this weekend. COTA becomes the third American circuit on the calendar this season and the fourth in the sport’s history after Daytona, Laguna Seca and Indianapolis. A new venue always brings new chances, though, and the track layout alone looks set to throw up some highly entertaining battles and potentially catch out a number of riders when even momentarily off-guard.

Technomag carXpert’s Dominique Aegerter will be hoping to carry his impressive form through to Texas, as the Swiss rider put in a great performance for fourth last time out, whilst Redding’s teammate Mika Kallio will aim to carry through his qualifying feats into the race. Italtrans’ Julian Simón, who was one of the pace-setters in pre-season testing, could prove to be one of the podium contenders at the new track, whilst the likes of NGM Mobile Forward’s Simone Corsi and Alex de Angelis will remain a constant threat over the many contour changes of COTA.

With the exception of Aegerter’s Suter, the Kalex bike proved the dominant machine in Qatar, yet the likes of Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol and Jordi Torres will look to take their testing form into Texas as they hope to kick-start their 2013. JiR Moto2’s Mike di Meglio - who had looked promising in Qatar on his MotoBI, before an issue on the starting grid - will be aiming for a better showing of true form, whilst rookies in the shape of Dynavolt Intact GP’s Sandro Cortese and Tech 3 Racing’s Danny Kent and Louis Rossi will continue their adaptation to the class.

Opening practice for Moto2 commences on Friday at 10:55am local time (GMT -5).

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