2013 Sepang Moto2 Race Result: Shortened Race Influences Title Chase

Full report and results below:

After dominating the entire weekend and leading every session Esteve Rabat has taken a well deserved victory after the shortened Moto2 race in Sepang. The Pons Kalex rider rode an imperious and measured race to finish ahead of his team mate Pol Espargaro and keep his faint championship hopes alive. Espargaro got the hole shot into turn one but Rabat took over a few corners into the first lap and never looked back. Espargaro's second place was decisive in that it closes the deficit to championship leader Scott Redding to an ominous nine points. 

Thomas Luthi capped off a strong weekend to take the final podium position after losing out to Espargaro over the closing laps. Mika Kallio, Dominique Aegerter and Johann Zarco finished in fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively, while a visibly frustrated Scott Redding had to settle for a disappointing seventh place. The Brit thumped his bike as he crossed the line after losing out to Zarco on the final corner. Redding will need to rediscover his form next week in Phillip Island or risk being overrun by the typically consistent Espargaro. Takaaki Nakagami, Jordi Torres and Julian Simon rounded out the top ten.

The race was initially red flagged after a horrifying incident coming onto the back straight on the opening lap. Axel Pons high sided under hard acceleration and several riders following through at the back of the field collected his stricken machine. A total of five riders went down including a number of wild cards. Fadli Immammuddin suffered the worst spill, careering into Pons' Kalex at full speed and cart wheeling through the air. The carnage left in the aftermath was a truly frightening site, several bikes were left charred and hardly recongnisable. Miraculously and thankfully no riders involved were seriously injured.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 80 Esteve RABAT Kalex 25'45.411
2 40 Pol ESPARGARO Kalex 1.563
3 12 Thomas LUTHI Suter 2.910
4 36 Mika KALLIO Kalex 4.814
5 77 Dominique AEGERTER Suter 7.352
6 5 Johann ZARCO Suter 9.790
7 45 Scott REDDING Kalex 9.840
8 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Kalex 11.894
9 81 Jordi TORRES Suter 12.302
10 60 Julian SIMON Kalex 15.524
11 3 Simone CORSI Speed Up 16.190
12 52 Danny KENT Tech 3 25.191
13 95 Anthony WEST Speed Up 25.982
14 88 Ricard CARDUS Speed Up 26.040
15 23 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex 26.380
16 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Kalex 29.369
17 96 Louis ROSSI Tech 3 30.154
18 8 Gino REA Speed Up 35.653
19 18 Nicolas TEROL Suter 35.723
20 92 Alex MARIÑELARENA Kalex 36.012
21 44 Steven ODENDAAL Speed Up 40.132
22 25 Azlan SHAH Moriwaki 40.457
23 7 Doni Tata PRADITA Suter 50.037
24 10 Thitipong WAROKORN Suter 54.131
25 97 Rafid Topan SUCIPTO Speed Up 54.451
Not Classified      
  11 Sandro CORTESE Kalex  
  54 Mattia PASINI Speed Up  
  15 Alex DE ANGELIS Speed Up  
  19 Xavier SIMEON Kalex  
Not Starting      
  49 Axel PONS Kalex  
  46 Decha KRAISART Tech3  
  62 Fadli IMMAMMUDDIN Motobi  
  21 Zaqhwan ZAIDI Suter  
  34 Ezequiel ITURRIOZ Kalex  


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..That Axel Pons hangs up his leathers? After numerous serious, almost life-threatening injuries to himself, this time it was someone else - think he needs to stop before he kills himself or someone else.

in these times of penalty points why hasnt axel pons recieved any 24 crashes in 75% of season proves he is incapable of running at this level. please daddy stop funding him to kill or ruin peoples chances of world championships.roll on phillip island

Firstly, very glad to see everyone walk away after such an awful crash - miraculous.

There's obviously not much love for Axel Pons at the minute - I can sort of see it both ways. On one hand it was unlucky that his bike remained in the middle of the track and that the others were unsighted; strictly speaking it wasn't his fault that it was such a massive accident which could have had tragic consequences.

On the other hand his crash record speaks for itself - obviously if you're having a lot of crashes then the likelihood of your bike ending up in the middle of the track for people to hit are also a lot higher than riders with steadier hands.

Many people on Twitter have called for a ban - it doesn't work that way as he's not been barging into anyone in this instance, he had a normal crash on his own and others hit his stricken bike. Likewise, Sito Pons is not about to stop funding something that his son wants to do.

Axel needs to take a step back and look at the big picture - he has been in Moto2 for four years with one of the top teams, plus one year of 250s before that and has basically scored a handful of points (23 points in 76 grand prix if you want to get numerical). It is *possible* that he might suddenly come good - look at Alexis Masbou last year and this compared to the early part of his GP career - but the signs are that, sadly, he's not up to it. There was another chap who did World Supersport and also the first year of Moto2 with family money behind him and struggled for pace - Yannick Guerra with his dad's Holiday Gym money - and he took the decision to step away (and train to become an airline pilot I think) which was the right thing to do.

I don't want to be down on Axel, but he is clearly over-riding the thing every week to try and compete in a very strong field which is leading to all these problems.

[Slight edit: it does seem that Jordi Torres touched Axel which led to the highside, although fan video from the stands suggested Axel had a big bobble which led Jordi to touch him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbLrtLLnzro. The above observations still stand]