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.

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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.

Race results:

1. Pol Espargaro SPA (Kalex) 30m 12.879s
2. Marc Marquez SPA (Suter) 30m 13.120s
3. Thomas Luthi SWI (Suter) 30m 13.362s
4. Scott Redding GBR (Kalex) 30m 17.293s
5. Takaaki Nakagami JPN (Kalex) 30m 17.716s
6. Claudio Corti ITA (Kalex) 30m 18.760s
7. Mika Kallio FIN (Kalex) 30m 19.028s
8. Dominique Aegerter SWI (Suter) 30m 19.976s
9. Toni Elias SPA (Suter) 30m 20.745s
10. Johann Zarco FRA (MotoBI) 30m 21.559s
11. Bradley Smith GBR (Tech 3) 30m 22.261s
12. Alex De Angelis RSM (Suter) 30m 22.647s
13. Xavier Simeon BEL (Tech 3) 30m 23.312s
14. Andrea Iannone ITA (Speed Up) 30m 44.245s
15. Gino Rea GBR (Moriwaki) 30m 44.383s