Scott Redding took a giant stride towards the Moto2 world championship with victory on home soil at Silverstone. The Briton outfought polesitter Takaaki Nakagami and Thomas Luthi to take the win on a day Pol Espargaro suffered with illness, finishing an uncompetitive eighth to fall 38 points back in the title chase with just six races remaining.
Spurred on by a vocal home crowd, Redding made a superb start to lead Nakagami through Copse while Thomas Luthi stormed from the second row of the grid up to third ahead of Dominique Aegerter and Esteve Rabat. Johann Zarco’s poor start dropped him five places to eighth but the big loser was Espargaro who was crowded out at the first corner and completed lap one in ninth.
Although Aegerter made a race of it early on, the fight for victory appeared to come down to three riders as Redding kept Nakagami and Luthi at bay. The Japanese rider, still waiting for his maiden Grand Prix win, was desperate to break his duck and after a brief tussle with Luthi, he dived past Redding at the Loop on lap twelve to regain the lead he lost off the start line.
While the top three focused on each other, a fourth protagonist was emerging in the form of Rabat who was embarking on the kind of late rally which took him all the way to victory at Indianapolis, setting fastest lap after fastest lap. Redding may not have seen him coming but a mistake from Nakagami at Village was just the break he needed to get away. With Takaaki also falling prey to Luthi at Brooklands, the home favourite had been handed an advantage he wouldn’t relinquish.
With Rabat now right on their tails, Luthi and Nakagami continued to squabble with the Italtrans rider regaining second at the Loop two laps from the finish. On the last tour, Luthi made a final bid to snatch second but his move at Vale only left him open to being overtaken at Club and the Swiss settled for third, just holding off a rampant Rabat.
Aegerter finished just two seconds off the lead in fifth while Mika Kallio benefitted from a last lap crash for Xavier Simeon, inheriting sixth. The Belgian’s misfortune was also good news for Espargaro who moved up from ninth to eighth although he couldn’t chase down Johann Zarco who claimed seventh.
Simone Corsi and Mattia Pasini completed the top ten but there would be no points for Britain’s Danny Kent whose nightmare qualifying proved too big a handicap in the race. The Tech 3 rider did make it up to eighteenth in the end but Gino Rea’s race ended two laps early following a crash.