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Espargaro collects a well-timed win

Espargaro collects a well-timed win

Pol Espargaro has won the Moto2™ GP Aperol di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini, denying Takaaki Nakagami a career-first victory on the penultimate lap at Misano. Tito Rabat made the podium as championship leader Scott Redding finished sixth.

On Saturday, Tuenti HP 40’s Espargaro – 38 points behind Redding in the championship following a poor race at Silverstone – had confidently sealed pole position, with his chief rival starting fifth for Marc VDS Racing Team. A clean start saw the Spaniard retain the lead but Italtrans Racing Team’s Nakagami, highly keen to win after finishing second in the last three races, went through on Lap 4.

As Nakagami’s tyres began to drop off the cliff in the final stages of the race, Espargaro relentlessly reduced a two-second gap and posted the fastest lap of the entire Grand Prix on Lap 22. The ultimately inevitable pass came at the end of the start/finish straight with only two tours remaining, demoting Nakagami to yet another second place as Espargaro’s teammate Rabat – who ran second in the early stages – completed the rostrum. Tom Luthi and Dominique Aegerter completed the top five for Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing and Technomag carXpert, correspondingly.

For Redding, it was a case of damage limitation. Eventually losing out to the likes of Aegerter, the Englishman narrowly beat Came Iodaracing Project’s Johann Zarco to sixth place; this means his new championship leading margin is 23 points – now less than a single race win. The top ten in the race was rounded out by Maptaq SAG Zelos Team’s Xavier Simeon, Redding’s teammate Mika Kallio and Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol. On the victory lap, second-placed Nakagami took a moment to reflect with a large Japanese flag, remembering late compatriot Shoya Tomizawa.

The Moto2™ World Championship continues in two weeks’ time, with the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón at MotorLand Aragon in north-eastern Spain.


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