Espargaro beats Redding to Assen victory

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Saturday, 29 June 2013

Moto2™ title rivals Pol Espargaro and Scott Redding went toe to toe at Assen on Saturday, with the Spaniard triumphing in the Iveco TT Assen. Switzerland’s Dominique Aegerter finished third after leading earlier in the race, confirming his second ever podium finish after Valencia 2011.

On a weekend full of dramas, the first retirement came before the race had even started as 2010 class champion Toni Elias crashed on the Warm-Up lap. As the lights went out, championship leader Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) quickly dispatched of Espargaro and his Tuenti HP 40 teammate Esteve Rabat to seize the lead.

The front battle hit fever pitch on the eighth tour. Espargaro had retaken the lead from Redding but, as the Englishman dived up the inside of the first corner, both men went wide and it was Aegerter who led the race to the delight of his team. As the front end pace increased, he would drop back into a battle with Rabat and Johann Zarco.

Espargaro handed the lead to Redding on the 20th tour, then following closely before mounting a strong challenge into Turn 1 at the start of the final lap. He would keep the top spot, defending at every one of Assen’s 18 corners. More last lap drama saw Rabat plummet from third to fifth, handing the final rostrum position to Aegerter on the Suter (from tenth on the grid) while Redding’s teammate Mika Kallio finished fourth.

The aforementioned Zarco ended his day in sixth place for Came Iodaracing Project, with the rest of the top ten all crossing the line somewhat spaced out; positions seven to ten were filled by Xavier Simeon (Desguaces La Torre Maptaq), Tom Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing), Jordi Torres (Aspar Team Moto2) and Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team, who had started on the second row).

A total of four riders failed to make the finish. Following the pre-race demise of Elias, there were crashes for Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing), Kyle Smith (Blusens Avintia) and Mike di Meglio (JiR Moto2). At the front, Espargaro’s victory brings Redding’s title-leading advantage down to 30 points ahead of the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring in a fortnight’s time.

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