Scott Redding finally claimed his maiden Moto2 victory at the 55th time of asking, leading Mika Kallio in a Marc VDS Racing 1-2 at Le Mans. The Briton was declared the winner after rain brought the red flags out three laps before the finish and with all of his championship rivals crashing out, Redding has stormed into a 24 point lead in the title chase.
The signs weren’t positive for Redding at first with the no.45 Kalex getting swallowed up on the run towards turn one. By the end of lap one, he had fallen to eighth but a combination of rider mishaps and sensational overtaking would propel him back into contention. Takaaki Nakagami had converted pole into an early lead but the Pons Kalex teammates Esteve Rabat and Pol Espargaro were giving chase. That was until lap three when both fell out in astonishing fashion, suffering identical accidents at Musée with the bikes coming to a rest metres from each other on the outside of the circuit.
With the two closest challengers wiped out, Nakagami had the luxury of a three second lead but Musée was clearly low on grip and the Japanese rider found that out to his cost on lap seven, sliding out and throwing away the possibility of a first Grand Prix win. While others were fluffing their lines, Redding was rampant having Dominique Aegerter and Xavier Simeon in consecutive laps and the retirements had promoted him to second behind Johann Zarco who suddenly found himself in the dream scenario of a lead on home soil.
Redding was reading an entirely different script to that of the passionate Le Mans crowd and scythed past Zarco at Dunlop on lap nine. It was a lead Redding would never relinquish although Zarco ensured he wouldn’t enjoy an easy ride to victory. The Ioda rider shadowed Scott until the other Marc VDS Kalex came up behind him, with Kallio charging through to snatch second on lap twenty. Zarco would lose two more places in the space of a lap to Simeon and Aegerter and with the red flag following soon after, he had no chance to respond.
Redding’s joy was clear as soon as he caught sight of a red flag, the emotion pouring out of the 20 year old on the slow-down lap. Kallio and Simeon were delighted themselves with second in third, the Belgian standing on a Moto2 podium for the first time ever, while Aegerter and Zarco were the unlucky pair in the leading group to miss out on the rostrum.
Mattia Pasini and Mike Di Meglio were just a tenth of a second apart in sixth and seventh with Julian Simon the leading Spaniard in eighth ahead of Anthony West and Alex De Angelis. The race was the first in any class this season not to see a Spaniard on the top step of the podium, let alone the top six.
Moto3 champion Sandro Cortese scored his first points in the intermediate class in thirteenth but Danny Kent missed out by 0.106s to his Tech 3 teammate Louis Rossi who took the final point for himself. Gino Rea also had eyes on the top fifteen but a technical problem sidelined him while running twelfth. Kyle Smith’s race was ended before it had begun with a crash on lap one.