By Lisa Lewis
Pol Espargaro powered away to race and title victory in a restarted Japanese Moto2 Grand Prix at Motegi.
Espargaro took the lead at turn eleven from Mika Kallio in the early stages and didn't look back.
With title rival Scott Redding out of the running due to an incident that red-flagged the original race start,Espargaro held his nerve for his sixth win of the season and the first not to come from a pole for the Tuenti HP 40 rider, who had qualified seventh on the grid.
The result gives Espargaro an unassailable 41 point lead over his season long rival Redding, with just the final round at Valencia left to run.
His brother Aleix, himself CRT champion in a successful year for the Espargaro family, brought out his celebratory t-shirt and flag for an emotional lap of honour for the 22-year-old.
The original start saw cruel luck for the Marc VDS team and Redding after all their efforts to make the grid in Japan.
After 31 consecutive finishes Dominique Aegerter uncharacteristically crashed to the gravel side of the track at the same time as Tito Rabat fell into the pack and straight into the path of Redding, who had nowhere to go, hitting the Spaniard and twisting across the track.
Alex Marinelarena was also tangled up in the incident, having crashed first, Redding avoiding him only to move into the path of Rabat. The Blusens rider needed trackside attention, Redding was stretchered away in the ambulance, Rabat was able to hobble away.
All riders were 'deemed OK' before the second go at running the race.
Redding may have seen his title hopes vanish but was reported to have at least not damaged his fractured wrist further, with pains in his knee, right arm and back.
The race was immediately red-flagged and replaced by a 15 lap sprint.
Kallio, who had started from pole, crossed the line 1.3 seconds behind the winner for Marc VDS, leading the way before succumbing to the performance of Espargaro.
Tom Luthi was a distant third as the Swiss rider continued his strong second half to the season for the Interwetten Paddock team.
The battle for fourth, sadly was where most of the action took place. The fight between Johann Zarco and Xavier Simeon raged until Zarco's bike failed him with six laps to go, The Frenchman appearing to not be able to change gear.