Rabat Races To Breakthrough Moto2 Victory


Esteve Rabat completed a perfect weekend on home soil by converting pole position into a lights-to-flag victory at Jerez, setting the fastest lap in the process. The Pons rider led every lap to claim a comfortable win ahead of Scott Redding with the result enough to lift him above the Briton to the top of the championship standings.

Rabat didn’t put a wheel wrong from the moment the red lights went out as he stormed into a commanding lead while Redding consolidated second off the line. Takaaki Nakagami established himself in third but he wasn’t to enjoy the peaceful ride to the chequered flag that the front two had the luxury of, as Pol Espargaro set his sights on a podium finish at home.

After a subdued weekend from his point of view, Espargaro didn’t really come to live until midway through the race when he closed the gap to Nakagami, reducing it to nothing at half distance. His chances took a major blow though on lap eighteen as the pair lapped QMMF’s Rafid Topan Sucipto with the Indonesian rider getting caught in between the two as he botched an attempt to let the leaders through. Pol put any anger to one side and chased Nakagami down again before launching an attack on lap 24, first diving through at the Dry Sac hairpin before trying again at the next corner.

On both occasions, Takaaki sneaked back through but a near-highside on the penultimate lap would be all the encouragement Espargaro needed to snatch third, and hold it to the flag. Nicolas Terol followed up his Austin win with fifth at Jerez although his Aspar teammate Jordi Torres lost sixth to Xavier Simeon within sight of the flag. Dominique Aegerter finished seventh after surviving an ambitious move from Mika Kallio at the Dry Sac which took the Finn out of the race and his demise moved Toni Elias and Marcel Schrotter into ninth and tenth, just ahead of Thomas Luthi who marked his full return from injury with eleventh place.

Danny Kent and Kyle Smith must both wait for their first Moto2 points after they joined Kallio on the list of victims at the Dry Sac hairpin, sliding out within minutes of each other.