Pol Espargaro provided the perfect response to the Catalunya controversy with a confidant victory in Sunday's British Moto2 Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Espargaro overcame home hero and early leader Scott Redding just before the halfway stage of the 18 laps, then stayed out of reach while Redding beat new championship leader Marc Marquez for second place at the very final turn.

Fellow Englishman Bradley Smith had rocketed from fourth to first courtesy of a brave outside sweep through turn one, with Redding slotting into second behind the Tech 3 rider to compete a dream start for the home fans.

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Redding and a combative Smith exchanged places several times before the Marc VDS Kalex rider broke free at the end of the second lap. Smith was swamped by Espargaro, Marquez and Andrea Iannone soon after.

Espargaro - whose collision with Marquez at Catalunya is yet to be resolved in terms of a possible Marquez penalty - galloped past the lanky Redding along the Hangar Straight on lap 8.

The Pons Kalex rider then rode a perfect race to take his second victory of the season by 1.462s.

Redding dropped as low as fourth after losing the lead, but regrouped and spent the last six laps fighting with Marquez for the runner-up spot.

The Englishman out-braked the Repsol Suter star into the slow Loop hairpin at the start of the final lap, before Marquez inevitably slipstreamed back ahead along the Hangar Straight.

But the Spaniard got a major wobble on the exit of the following Stowe turn, giving Redding the invitation he needed to try an out-braking move into the final chicane.

Side-by-side through the entry, Marquez was on the inside - and almost alongside - as the pair accelerated through the ever quickening right-hander that led to the chequered flag.

Redding refused to budge and clung on to seal second place and his best result of the year by 0.069s.

Iannone took a safe fourth for Speed Master (Speed Up), ahead of fellow Italians Simone Corsi (FTR) and Claudio Corti (Kalex), while Smith hung on for seventh and his best result of the season.

Interwetten Suter's Thomas Luthi, who began the race with a two-point title lead over Marquez, was never a factor at the front of the race and crossed the line in eighth place.

Marquez now leads the championship by six points from Espargaro and Luthi.

Due to the time difference with Europe, MotoGP will now be the next race, followed by Moto3.