By Stephen English
Stefan Brad will be the 2011 Moto2 champion, following apparent confirmation that his only title rival, Marc Marquez, will not compete in Valencia this weekend.
Marquez suffered a serious concussion following a Friday morning crash at the Malaysian Grand Prix, when marshals did not warn riders of a damp track, that forced the Spaniard to sit out the penultimate race of the year.
Bradl was narrowly pipped to victory by Thomas Luthi at Sepang, but holds a 23-point lead over Marquez heading into this weekend's finale.
Bradl (Kalex) started the year in fine form taking four victories in the opening six races, but throughout the summer Marquez (Suter) struck a rich vein of form and looked set to capture the intermediate class title as a rookie.
However Marquez lost the title lead after a grid penalty in Australia, before being sidelined by the Sepang accident.
Marquez will miss both of Friday's Valencia sessions and was said to be out of the weekend - although the latest from Repsol is that Marquez will need a "miracle" to ride, which keeps a small chance open.
While Marquez has arguably been the fastest rider in the class this year, he has not shown the consistency or maturity of Bradl who has only failed to score points on one occasion, the Dutch TT.
Both riders have confirmed that they will return to Moto2 next season.