By Lisa Lewis
Pons Kalex rider Pol Espargaro dominated the Australian Moto2 Grand Prix at Phillip Island, obliterating the field to win by a huge margin of 16.811 seconds.
It is his fourth win of the season and only his second this year from pole position.
The Tuenti Movil HP 40 man did everything he could to keep the championship alive and smashed the circuit record as the laps counted down - but third place for Marc Marquez gave the Suter rider an unbeatable 39 point title lead.
Espargaro was happy with his performance in the race and although the championship had still been a distant hope he said in parc ferme that “2nd in the world's not so bad, so we have to be happy”.
Catalunya Caixa Repsol Suter rider Marquez started the race knowing he just needed to finish 14th or higher irrespective of Espargaro's result, but an amazing turn of speed in the final corner saw him take the title on the podium, finishing third.
He said his title was “like a dream come true” and congratulated Espargaro on his great race and season.
Home rider Ant West stormed through from ninth on the grid to hit fourth on his QMMF Speed Up bike and then chipped away at the deficit to catch Marquez, taking third with three laps remaining.
West then sent the crowd into a frenzy as he raced his way to second, scoring two consecutive podiums and giving the team their best ever result.
Last weekend's wet Sepang round had been the Australian's first podium in seven years. West, who started the season without a ride, thanked his team and added he'd “been looking for this day, when it's dry and I could still be at the front”.
Scott Redding lost out in the big scrap to the line between himself, Marquez and West but moved his new record points score for a intermediate class British rider on to 161 after finishing fourth, off the back of his equal best ever qualifying result.
Dominique Aegerter scored his best finish of the season at the Technomag CIP team, crossing the line fifth, with top rookie Johann Zarco's JIR and Ioda Racing Team's Simone Corsi close behind after making a race of it in sixth and seventh respectively.