Pol Espargaro clinched the 2013 Moto2 World Championship with a race to spare after winning the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. The Spaniard led every lap of a shortened Grand Prix which had to be restarted following a horrible crash involving Scott Redding and Esteve Rabat, Espargaro’s only two remaining title challengers.
British hopes had already taken a blow in morning practice when Danny Kent crashed on his Tech 3 machine, breaking his right collarbone but worse was to come on the opening lap of the race itself. Exiting turn one, Esteve Rabat highsided his Pons Kalex with Alex Marinelarena having his own separate accident on the grass. With Rabat and his motorcycle in the middle of the track, Scott Redding was powerless to avoid the Spaniard or his machine and both were left stricken on the tarmac. Rabat miraculously limped away but Redding remained prostrate for a little longer, although he did appear conscious and after a trip to the medical centre was later deemed ok, as was Marinelarena.
The injuries were such though that neither Redding nor Rabat were able to take the restart, meaning Espargaro simply needed to finish where he started in seventh to wrap up the championship. Pol was intent on securing it in style though and after a stunning start was up to second before polesitter Mika Kallio surrendered the lead at the end of the back straight.
Espargaro was never headed from there and duly clinched the world title with his fifth win of the season, celebrating his triumph with brother Aleix on the slow-down lap. Kallio gave Marc VDS something to smile about with second while Thomas Luthi kept up his late season surge with third position.
Xavier Simeon finished a fine fourth ahead of former 125cc champions Julian Simon and Nicolas Terol while Alex de Angelis took seventh ahead of Dominique Aegerter. The Swiss rider maintained his incredible points scoring streak but had to do so from the back of the grid after crashing shortly after the lap one pile-up, obviously unaware that the race had been stopped.