By Lisa Lewis
Pol Espargaro overtook Takaaki Nakagami in the closing stages of Sunday's San Marino Moto2 round to claim his fourth win of the season, at Misano.
The Tuenti HP 40 rider had to push hard to catch Nakagami, who put in some fast early times in his quest for a debut grand prix win at Italtrans' home round.
Espargaro's victory saw him claw back 15 valuable points and move to within 23 of Championship leader Scott Redding.
Unfortunate Nakagami did all he could to win, but had to settle for second for the fourth race in a row. He celebrated by waving flags dedicated to the memory of Shoya Tomizawa, who he also dedicated his performance to in parc ferme.
Tito Rabat got busy with seven laps left and started to close down his Pons team-mate and Nakagami, but the gap proved too much leaving him to take third for an all-Kalex podium.
After two podiums at the last two rounds Tom Luthi faded in the middle portion of the race but bounced back to lead the chasing pack across the line in fourth. The Swiss man was also the top Suter rider for Interwetten Paddock.
Dominique Aegerter and Johann Zarco had raced hard and swapped position with Luthi for most of the race distance.
Technomag carXpert rider Aegerter continued his epic run of points finishes in fifth, but Redding proved to be stubborn opposition after being pushed back from fourth early in the race to snatch sixth aboard his Marc VDS bike over the line. The Englishman thus limited the damage done to his championship lead as much as he could in a tough weekend for the Brit after his glorious Silverstone win.
Came Iodaracing Project's Zarco was pushed out to seventh, Xavier Simeon was next across the stripe after a gap to take an eighth place finish for the Maptaq SAG Zelos Team.
Redding's team-mate Mika Kallio
surived a shunt from Simeon to finish in ninth, Nico Terol ended his race in tenth for Aspar.
Ant West enjoyed an eleventh place finish for QMMF and was the top Speed Up rider after much changing of position took place for the lower positions.
Mattia Pasini was the best placed Italian in twelfth for NGM Mobile racing ahead of the second Italtrans of Julian Simon in 13th. Marcel Schrotter continues to find his feet in Moto2 and finished in 14th ahead of San Marino rider Alex De Angelis who in 15th took the final point scoring place.
Danny Kent faltered after an excellent start saw him run as high as eighth to finish in 19th for Tech3, ahead of fellow Briton Gino Rea who crossed the line in 22nd for his wild-card performance aboard his Gino Rea Montaze Broz Racing FTR while carrying injury to his wrist.
There were race finishing falls for Simone Corsi and Sandro Cortese. Thitipong Warokorn also crashed but rejoined the action.