Pol Espargaro insists he is happy to see Moto2 title rival Scott Redding return to action this weekend in Japan.

Espargaro finally took the championship lead from Redding when the Englishman suffered a wrist fracture - which required surgery - in qualifying at Phillip Island last Saturday.

With Redding absent, Espargaro moved to the top of the standings by 16 points with just two rounds to go.

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"I found Scott in the hotel and asked how he was," said Espargaro at Motegi on Thursday. "He has pain in the arm, as is normal, but he will try. It is good for the championship, for him and all the people that are following him.

"I was not 100 percent happy in Australia because we took over first place in the championship, but without him at the track. It was not perfect. But our sport is dangerous. One mistake can win or lose the championship.

"He did not have good luck in Phillip Island - I'm just happy to see him here in Japan and know he will try tomorrow."

The injury and points disadvantage mean Redding faces a tough task to try and take the title down to the final round. But he could be helped by the bad weather forecast for this weekend.

"Really in our position I prefer dry conditions for sure!" confessed Espargaro. "We are not on top in wet conditions, but we will work hard to be on the podium to try and be champion here or at Valencia. For now it's still a dream."

Both Espargaro and Redding will move up to MotoGP next season.