Espargaro finishes last Moto2 race despite crashing out of race lead, Rabat takes 5th, Pons 20th
Today’s Moto2 race at the Valencia circuit meant the end to a magnificent season for the Tuenti HP 40 team, winning the world championship with Pol Espargaró and taking the crown in the team championship, thanks to the results of their riders with a total of nine victories and 17 podium finishes. On six occasions Pol and Tito stood on the podium together – in Spain, Catalunya, Indianapolis, San Marino, Aragon and Malaysia.
In this final Grand Prix reigning champion Pol Espargaró started from pole position for the seventh time this season and after a great start off the line settled into first position into the first corner. Espargaro was determined to do a great race in his final outing in the Moto2 class and showed a rapid pace which saw him leave the rest behind by a second over the line. But in lap seven, when the Spaniard already had a lead of over 1.5 seconds, he crashed out when braking for turn 5, losing every chance for the race.
With his teammate Rabat, who didn’t have a good start, in 8th place and battling hard within a group, Espargaro picked up his bike and decided to still finish the final race before his move up to MotoGP. Meanwhile Rabat made up places and little by little improved to finish in fifth place, just missing out on the runner-up position in the championship.
Axel Pons, who was riding injured after crashing in the warm-up, was fighting in the second group throughout the race and made up positions to finish the race in 20th place.
POL ESPARGARÓ “I was very motivated to do a good race, maybe too much. I started determined to win the last race, I had some vibrations at the front which were a bit strange and I crashed when I tried to tighten it. When I got back up i was far behind the rider in front, but I think the team deserved better than me retiring, so despite the bike being in bad shape, if I can continue I want to do that. I wanted to finish for all the spectators who came here to see us. I gave the best I could with the damage the bike had from the crash and I wanted to bring it back to the box after seeing the chequered flag, for everything we’ve been through together this season. We wanted to enjoy this weekend with the team and the sponsors who have supported us and we’ve done that.”
5º TITO RABAT “It was a race where we had many problems. I had a lot of bumping, both at the front and the rear, I couldn’t keep the pace. I didn’t have a good start and I did what I could. At the beginning I was struggling and then I improved, but it was a very difficult race, but I did what I could and I am happy about that.”
20º AXEL PONS “We had problems with the rear tyre in the race. It was sliding in a strange way and the bike was moving a lot on the straight. This morning I had a crash in the warmup and I injured myself a bit, I didn’t have much feeling in the right foot and therfore not much feeling under braking and getting out of the corners. This was my last Grand Prix with this team and I want to thank them for all they did to give me strength and support. Now I will start a new chapter where I will focus completely on being a professional racer and I am already excited to work hard to achieve the results I want.”
Source: Pons Racing