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Dominant career-first victory for Rabat in Jerez

Dominant career-first victory for Rabat in Jerez

Esteve Rabat has convincingly won his first race at the Circuito de Jerez, snatching the Moto2™ championship lead after starting from his first pole position. Former points leader Scott Redding finished second as Rabat’s Tuenti HP 40 teammate Pol Espargaro stole the final podium position from Takaaki Nakagami.

Ahead of his 24th birthday later this month, Rabat held the advantage from Redding as the red lights went out. He went on to make the victory look easy, despite the pressure of a home crowd, and comfortably pulled away as gaps began to develop between the top five riders. He would take the chequered flag by over four seconds.

Redding’s ride to second place was a calm one, as the Marc VDS Racing Team rider looks to achieve consistency across the 2013 season. After narrowly missing out on the win in Qatar before finishing fifth in Texas, he will head to the fourth round of the campaign only one point in arrears of the new championship leader.

Espargaro, a pre-season favourite for many, was desperate to make up ground as he – despite winning at Losail - had crashed out at Circuit of the Americas two weeks ago. Running fourth and catching Italtrans Racing Team’s Nakagami, the former was held up by Indonesia’s Rafid Topan Sucipto (QMMF Racing Team) who was running a lap down. He caught Nakagami again with only a handful of laps to go, passing on the penultimate tour as the Japanese rider made an unforced error exiting Michelin curve. After the race, Sucipto apologised to Espargaro for delaying his progress.

As Nakagami dropped to fourth and was unable to re-pass Espargaro, Texas winner Nico Terol ended the day fifth for Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 while Desguaces La Torre Maptaq’s Xavier Simeon overhauled Aspar’s Jordi Torres to end a spirited battle in a career-best sixth position. Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), Toni Elias (Blusens Avintia) and Marcel Schrotter (Desguaces La Torre SAG) completed the first ten, while Tom Luthi finished 11th on his return with Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing. Two places further back, Came Iodaracing Project’s Johann Zarco had fought up to 13th position from 30th on the starting grid.

Several riders were caught out, including Britons Danny Kent and Kyle Smith, but Mika Kallio’s fall was arguably the most significant. The Finn had been joint second in the standings heading into the race, but crashed his Marc VDS Racing Team bike at Dry Sack corner while involved in a multiple-rider battle over fifth position.

Following the Gran Premio bwin de España, Rabat becomes the championship leader with a single-point advantage over Redding. Espargaro is placed third overall, 11 points in arrears of his leading teammate, as Terol and Aegerter complete the top five.

The Moto2™ campaign continues in a fortnight’s time, as the fraternity heads to Le Mans for the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France.

Moto2, 2013, GRAN PREMIO bwin DE ESPAÑA, RAC

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