Motorcycling - Redding crashes to hand Espargaro Moto2 crown

Scott Redding missed out on the Moto2 title to rival Pol Espargaro after a first-lap crash at the Japanese Grand Prix that caused the race to be red-flagged.

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Motorcycling - Redding crashes to hand Espargaro Moto2 crown
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Pol Espargaró logra su primer título del mundo en Motegi

The Briton, who was racing just a week after fracturing his wrist in Australian GP qualifying, had to jink right to miss the crashing Blusens Kalex of Alex Marinelarena at the exit of Turn 2.

That took him into the path of Espargaro's team-mate Esteve Rabat, who had gone down all by himself in front of him.

Redding hit Rabat's bike, which was already on the floor minus its rider, and was launched into the air himself.

The race was stopped immediately with 20-year-old Briton, Redding and Marinelarena taken to the medical centre, where they were all deemed 'OK, but undergoing further checks'. Redding's wrist was not affected.

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With Redding not taking the restart, Espargaro began the shortened 15-lap race knowing a seventh-placed finish would give him the title.

The Spaniard instead overtook Redding's pole-sitting Marc VDS team-mate Mika Kallio near the end of the opening lap and pulled away to a two-second victory to put things beyond doubt.

Kallio was second with Thomas Luthi third.

Espargaro now has a 41-point advantage over Redding in the championship standings with just 25 on offer at the Valencia finale.

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