Espargaro takes first ever Moto2 victory as rain prompts early end to the race

 In Moto2, News

First victory for Pol Espargaró in Moto2, with the Spanish fans all cheering him on in an overall chaotic race due to the weather throwing up a few surprises again.

It’s Pol’s fifth victory in the world championship after taking four wins in the 125cc class and already his 25th podium, the fourth in the intermediate class. With the win at Jerez he moves up to second position in the championship, four points behind Marc Marquez who finished second today and 14 ahead of Tom Lüthi who took third at Jerez.

Pol Espargaró got off to a good start, moving up from third to first and then sticking with the front group, observing the fights between Lüthi, Redding and Márquez. When the rain started falling again he attacked for the first position, taking some risk to get in the lead. That’s when race direction decided to show the red flag which meant the last completed lap would count for the results. With that Polyccio gave a new win to Sito Pons after Héctor Barberá did so the last time at Valencia in 2009.

Axel Pons finished 18th, three seconds off the points positions, while Tito Rabat came home 29th after suffering a crash in the final corner in the first third of the race.

The next round will take place next Sunday at Estoril, scene of the Portuguese Grand Prix.

1. POL ESPARGARÓ “This win feels like real glory, because it’s my first in Moto2 and because it’s been very difficult for me. It’s been a hard and difficult race and I didn’t know I’d won until a track marshall told me, so I was able to celebrate it in style with the fans for a quarter of the track.

I was pretty comfortable at the back of the group and didn’t want to risk anything, but when I saw that it started to rain and that we were close to two thirds of the race, I decided to push and gamble. Then Marc passed me and I thought that he was taking a lot of risks and 20 points are good enough, but fortunately the previous lap counted and I got the win in front of all the fans, the best ones.

Thanks to this result I’m second in the championship and very close to Marquez, but I still think there’ll be more rivals and that consistency will be critical. I have to be among the best and return the bike to the garage in one bit at every Grand Prix. Now we keep working and stay on this way, so good results will come. I want to thank the whole team, because from Sito to every last one of its members, especially Santi Mulero, they are helping me a lot to be competitive in a category in which last year I really struggled. Now we celebrate a little, but then we start thinking about Estoril, where next weekend we will try to repeat the podiums from Qatar and Jerez.”

18. AXEL PONS “I’m happy, because the race wasn’t all that bad, especially after starting from so far behind and having so many problems in the practice. Obviously we have to start from better positions and do this by getting the setup right and then have options to reach the groups fighting for points. In the race I felt pretty good and I wasn’t far from 15th, which seemed impossible after how bad the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday went. Luckily we will go straight to Estoril and there we’ll aim to do better and improve the position in the championship.”

28. TITO RABAT “It’s been a real shame, because not only did I crash, but I also couldn’t return to the track and I had to go through pitlane, losing all chances to still be in the points. It’s been a difficult weekend, with continuous changes of the weather and in the race it was even worse. I started from quite far behind and didn’t gain any positions and once I started moving up I crashed. I hope to be much closer next week in Estoril and be within the front group to score plenty of points.”

SITO PONS, Team Manager “I’m very happy for the whole Pons 40 HP Tuenti Team and all the sponsors who have made this possible, because this victory is the confirmation of how well the season was planned and the excellent work of the entire team throughout the winter. It’s always a pleasure to win, but to do it in front of the Spanish fans and all the team’s sponsors multiplies the joy even further. Pol did a very intelligent race and this win gives us a lot of confidence for the future. And I don’t want to forget Tito who’s been fighting and surely will have more days like Qatar than today; and Axel who made a step forward and got closer to the points.”

Source: Pons Racing

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