By Lisa Lewis

With the Moto2 title secured at the previous round in Motegi, Pol Espargaro had entered the Valencia season finale aiming to go out on top with a win.

The Pons star looked poised to do just that after topping all practice sessions, securing pole position, then pulling clear in the race.

But Espargaro's hopes were quickly dashed when, having survived a big moment one lap earlier, he then crashed. True to his 'Never Give Up' catchphrase the Spaniard wrestled his bike back into action to finish the race 29th in front of a packed home crowd.

"I really wanted to do a good race, perhaps too much. I came out determined to win this last race," he said. "I had a strange vibration at the front and fell...I wanted to finish for everyone who has come to see us. I have given the maximum that I could with the damage that the bike had after the fall."

Scott Redding still had the job of holding off Espargaro's team-mate and 2014 Marc VDS replacement Tito Rabat to remain runner-up in the championship standings.

Entering the round with a 20 point advantage over his Pons rival the injured Briton rode through the pain barrier to score a final championship point in 15th. With Rabat only managing fifth place in the race Redding remained ten points ahead of Rabat in the final standings.

Contrary to earlier reports, the 20 year-old went the distance without the aid of painkillers:

"I decided not to have the painkilling injections ahead of the race, but that meant it was like I was in a war with my own body just to survive out there today," said Redding, who broke his wrist in last month's Australian round.

"I went off the start and tried to be as aggressive as normal, not letting anyone by, despite a bit of contact early on. But then my back started to go; the wrist isn't too bad, it's the back injury from Motegi that's been the problem all weekend ... it was just a case of hanging on".

The pain proved to be Redding's biggest obstacle in the Valencia race:

"The first time I looked at my pit board there were 17 laps to go and I thought 'no, I've only done ten laps and I've got that again and another seven laps yet'. But I managed to finish with one point, which could have been crucial for second in the championship if Tito had finished second in the race today".

Having also emblazoned 'Never Give Up?' on his own helmet to needle his title rival Espargaro earlier in the season, the mantra has also proved to be relevant to Redding's own season.

As the previous two rounds unfolded revealing a series of injuries and setbacks for the Marc VDS man he has attacked his misfortunes head on: attempting to race in Japan and keep the championship alive despite the wrist fracture the weekend before in Phillip Island, only to be taken out causing the back issue he suffered with today.

Redding's run of bad luck was cemented when he revealed on Twitter: "So yesterday (Saturday) to add to all my disasters, I was putting my boot on holding something with my teeth and the next thing my tooth was out ."

Redding now bids farewell to the Marc VDS Racing Team after four years, moving to the MotoGP class for the 2014 season with Gresini, piloting their production Honda racer in the Open class.

Espargaro joins him in the premier-class after three seasons in Moto2, where hopefully their rivalry will continue. The Spaniard is joining the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha Team where he will become team-mate to another British rider, Bradley Smith.

The duo get their first outings on their new bikes this week, when the first round of testing take place at the same Ricardo Tormo circuit.



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