Redding VS Espargaro continues at Indy

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Monday, 12 August 2013

Since the last race, title contenders Scott Redding and Pol Espargaro have both confirmed they will be stepping up to the premier class in 2014. One question: which one will be heading to MotoGP™ as Moto2™ World Champion?

Although the following rounds may have suggested otherwise, it was the season-opener in Qatar which gave us all of the necessary clues, with Espargaro and Redding going head-to-head at Losail before the Spaniard came out on top. Four months and eight races later, it is the Englishman (Marc VDS Racing Team) who carries a 23-point lead over his rival (Tuenti HP 40) as things intensify…

When it comes to pole positions, Espargaro holds the edge with three to Redding’s two. In terms of race victories, ditto. The Catalan pilot also holds the advantage for fastest race laps, with a couple to his name as opposed to Redding’s sole effort. So why it is Redding who holds the advantage, points-wise? It is thanks chiefly to his impressive consistency, with five podium finishes from eight races and an average finishing position of third as opposed to Espargaro’s eighth, demonstrating just how costly it has been to completely miss out on points in two of the 2013 races to date.

Off the black stuff, Espargaro was first to be publically paired up with a MotoGP™ outfit for next season, taking the much sought-after Monster Yamaha Tech 3 seat alongside Bradley Smith as Cal Crutchlow heads to Ducati Team. Redding’s own confirmation of a premier class ride also came, but it remains to be seen as to exactly whose machinery he will be riding. Nevertheless, the announcements do confirm that the duo will again share the circuit in 2014, most likely as champion and runner-up of the previous season’s intermediate class. Bragging rights spring to mind…

Elsewhere, things are hotting up further down the riders’ table, with only seven points between third and fifth positions currently occupied by Tito Rabat (Tuenti HP 40), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team), all of whom have suffered more than their fair share of bad luck so far this campaign. Slightly further down are 2013 race winners in the form of Aspar Team Moto2 teammates Nico Terol and Jordi Torres, each locked on 58 points for an effective joint seventh position in the championship standings.

Quite how any of these battles will look by the start of September is another matter, with three races – Indianapolis, Brno and Silverstone – packed into as many weeks to ensure a bursting agenda which could make or break a championship. Joining in the first leg of this triple-header will be American wildcard rider James Rispoli with GP Tech, whereas Thailand’s Thitipong Worokorn has been drafted into Honda Gresini Moto2 under the watchful eye of Ratthapark Wilairot - now coaching his fellow countryman after making the personal decision to retire from Grand Prix racing.

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