Espargaro takes big step towards title with Australia win as Rabat finishes 8th, Pons 24th
Pol Espargaró has taken the possibly most important victory of his career this afternoon at Philip Island. The Pons rider took his fifth pole position of the season yesterday and after a fantastic start he entered the first corner of the Australian Grand Prix in first position. After the first lap Pol was leading a group of seven riders, among them his teammate Tito Rabat who didn’t have a good start and was riding in fourth place. Rabat made a mistake in lap fouur when he was fighting for positions with Swiss rider Tom Lüthi and went wide in the first corner, losing five positions.
While Rabat tried to fight back and close in on the riders in front, Espargaró continued to lead the race and tried to manage a small gap of 0.8 seconds which he had opened on Alex De Angelis. With three laps to go, Pol made a mistake which allowed Tom Lüthi to close in on him. But Pol once again upped his pace to shake off the Swiss before he could pass and eventually took his fifth win of the season and also took over the lead in the Moto2 championship.
Axel Pons went off track in the first lap which cost him a lot of time and left him without chance to fight for points.
1º POL ESPARGARO “It’s been an incredibly weekend. I still can’t believe it, we have to finish the day, calm down, analyze what happened and enjoy the moment which I think is a great moment in my sporting career. Weh have taken over the championship lead with two races to go. I feel very sorry that I wasn’t able to do that with Scott also on track. Our sport is dangerous and this can happen at any time, in every lap and every corner. The goal for the next race will stay the same. We go to Japan with the aim to win, because I think we have to continue with the same attitude we have had all season.”
8º TITO RABAT “I am very disappointed, because I made a mistake in the corner after the straight and I went off track, luckily I could recover and finish the race. Here we had every chance to fight for the championship. Now we have to work hard in the remaining two races and give our best. It’s a shame what happened, but we have to keep improving and continue our way of work we had so far.”
24º AXEL PONS “I made a mistake in braking for turn ten and I went wide. I lost a lot of time to return to the race. Then I had to go through pitlane, because I jumped the start like some other riders in front of me. It’s a shame, because I couldn’t do the race I expected. I hope to make up for this at the next round in Motegi.”
Source: Pons Racing