Britain's Scott Redding leads the Moto2 World Championship despite being forced to err on the side of caution as he finished fifth at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin on Sunday.

Redding had qualified on pole on the Marc VDS Racing Kalex for the first time in his world championship career and immediately set a blistering pace as he attempted to make a break at the front.

However, he experienced rapidly deteriorating front grip and altered his strategy to settle for a solid points finish, with fifth place enough to give Redding the championship lead after Pol Espargaro crashed out early in the race.

Redding, who now has a four-point lead at the top ahead of the next round at Jerez in Spain, said: "I'm obviously disappointed not to be on the podium after starting from pole position, but I salvaged fifth position out of a difficult race and now I am leading the championship and that's a great feeling.

"Before the race I knew we'd struggle with the tyres going off and that's exactly what happened.

"I went out there to win but after six laps I knew it was impossible. I guessed that Espargaro and [Takaaki] Nakagami were out so I just used my brain and didn't push too hard to risk a crash that would have been very costly," he added.

"It was a decent fifth and now I am leading the championship I need to hold it together for the rest of the year after a great start to the season."

Redding's team-mate, Mika Kallio, rode superbly to finish on the rostrum after surviving a near-miss on the final lap when Dominique Aegerter clipped the back of his Kalex.

The Finn kept his nerve to fend off the challenge of Aegerter as he clinched the last place on the podium by 0.050s.

"I am really happy to be on the podium because it backs up a solid top five in the first race and now I am in a very good position in the championship," he said.

"It was a very difficult race because I knew Aegerter and [Esteve] Rabat would be coming to attack on the last lap and I knew we'd have a moment.

"I got clipped from behind but fortunately I stayed on the bike to get a podium," he added.

"I'm a little disappointed because a small mistake at the last corner cost me second, but I'm still very satisfied."

Esteve Rabat took second on his Tuenti HP40 Kalex behind race winner Nicolas Terol on the Mapfre Aspar Suter.


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