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Moto2: Espargaro debut win in rain-stopped race
29 April 2012
Home star Pol Espargaro has been awarded his first Moto2 grand prix victory in a rain-shortened Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
The Pons Kalex rider was a close second to countryman Marc Marquez when the red flags were waved at the end of lap 18. But Espargaro had been leading at the end of the previous lap, which marked the two-thirds distance necessary for full points and from where the official results were taken.
Prior to the rain, which began around lap 15 of 23, the race had been cracker, with Marquez, Espargaro, Scott Redding and Thomas Luthi battling ruthlessly for victory.
Redding's Marc VDS team-mate Mika Kallio then made it a five-way fight just before the halfway stage, but was to be caught out by the rain, running off track. Redding also lost several seconds in the slippery final stages and finished just a few tenths ahead of front row starting rookie Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Suter) on count-back.
The remaining leading trio hacked away at each other right to the red flag, with former 125cc title contender Espargaro listed as winning by 0.241s from the Repsol Suter of Marquez. Interwetten Suter rider Luthi, leader in the early stages, was less than half-a-second from victory in third.
Round one winner Marquez now leads the standings by four points from Espargaro, who was third in Qatar.
Andrea Iannone, second to Marquez in Losail, dropped from 13th to 22nd on lap one and eventually brought his Speed Up chassis home in 14th place.
Round three of the 2012 championship takes place at Estoril, Portugal, next weekend.
GBR (Tech 3)
Alex De Angelis
BEL (Tech 3)
ITA (Speed Up)
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