Pol Espargaro - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

Pol Espargaro - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com


Pol Espargaro won his first ever Grand Prix in the intermediate class after rain brought a halt to today's Spanish Grand Prix seven laps early. The Spaniard was involved in a thrilling battle with Marc Marquez and Thomas Luthi but the red flags came out at the perfect time from his point of view.

Marquez had been mugged at the start with Espargaro barging his way through into turn one. The overall beneficiary was Thomas Luthi though who sneaked past the pair of them to grab the lead. The trio were soon joined at the front by Scott Redding who was making rapid progress from the fourth row, while Bradley Smith and Gino Rea had also climbed into points-scoring positions.

Redding was the man on the move and firmly established himself in the leading group with some bold overtaking moves. The Briton ended Luthi's spell at the front on lap eight with a dive up the inside of turn ten, followed through by Marquez, and the championship leader began to pile the pressure on the new leader.

The pressure told on lap 14 but once again Luthi was the man to take advantage, diving back in front at turn one, and from that point on, Redding's victory hopes began to fade. Marquez deprived him of second by the time they re-entered the pit straight while Espargaro muscled his way through to third at the Dry Sack seconds later.

The rain, which had affected every single session far this weekend, returned to throw more spice into the Grand Prix and Mika Kallio was left to curse the weather as his Kalex couldn't make it though turn three untroubled. The Finn was on the verge of passing his teammate Redding but instead fell prey to the Italtrans Kalex riders, Takaaki Nakagami and Claudio Corti.

Seemingly untroubled by the drizzle, Espargaro began to prosper and scythed past Luthi in a carbon copy of his move on Redding. Not even Marquez could hold off the Pons rider and lost his grip on the lead on lap 17. He didn't know it at the time but that would prove crucial.

Marquez fought back against his fellow countryman on lap 18, taking Espargaro at the place where he'd made so many of his moves, the Dry Sack, but his hopes of escaping to victory were dashed by the red flag, shown as soon as the race had reached two thirds distance. With the result calculated at the end of lap 17, Espargaro was declared the winner and Marquez's move had come half a lap too late.

Luthi's patience at the back of the leading group wasn't rewarded either, with the Swiss rider having to make do with third while Redding was classified fourth despite his early promise. Nakagami and Corti gave Italtrans their best combined result in Moto2 with fifth and sixth while Kallio wound up a frustrated seventh.

Dominique Aegerter was eighth although Swiss supporters will have been disappointed by a crash for Randy Krummenacher who was running with the leaders early on. Toni Elias and Johann Zarco rounded out the top ten with Bradley Smith salvaging 11th from a testing weekend, four places ahead of Gino Rea who claimed his first championship point.