By Lisa Lewis
Tuenti HP 40 rider Pol Espargaro claimed the first win of the Moto2 championship at the floodlit Losail circuit in Qatar.
Espargaro, who started from pole for his fifth successive race secured his fifth Moto2 win aboard his Pons Kalex after a gripping battle with Marc VDS rider Scott Redding.
The Spaniard timed his move to the front in the final laps to perfection and although Redding gave everything in his quest for his first win in the class, Espargaro blocked well and pulled ahead in the straights.
The pair had enjoyed a comfortable gap to the chasing pack. The trio was initially fronted by Takaaki Nakagami. Redding took over at the mid point of the race and was up front until Espargaro made his move for the win.
Nakagami lead at the opening corner for Italtrans but couldn't keep pace when he lost the lead. The Japanese rider held on for his first podium finish in third, though over twelve seconds adrift.
The rostrum positions were dominated by Kalex/Pons Kalex riders but fourth was taken by the Suter of Technomag carXpert rider Dominique Aegerter, who had never finished in the top ten at Qatar before.
Mika Kallio continued to show his form at the circuit for Marc VDS and scored a fifth place finish as the chasing pack raced across the line.
Nakagami's Italtrans team-mate Julian Simon battled into sixth as NGM Mobile Racing's Simone Corsi, who lead the chasing group from the halfway mark and got caught up in a mid-pack battle ending the race in seventh.
The Italian was the second non-Kalex finisher, running a Speed Up chassis and was followed across the line by his team-mate Alex DeAngelis in eighth.
Tuenti HP 40's Tito Rabat also ended up tussling for position in the chasing group and was ninth, Xavier Simeon completed the top ten for the Desguaces La Torre Zelos team.
Aspar's Jordi Torres finished eleventh and Johann Zarco was twelfth for the Came IodaRacing Project.