British rider Scott Redding produced a stunning performance in today’s Moto2 race at Phillip Island, the British rider claiming second after an engrossing tussle with Alex de Angelis.
Starting from the front row of the grid for the fifth time in the last six races, the 17-year-old was locked in a fierce fight with de Angelis and Andrea Iannone for the majority of the 25-lap race.
Redding quickly seized the lead from fast starting French rider Mike di Meglio on the first lap as the leading quartet were able to easily breakaway from the chasing group.
The lead exchanged several times with Marc VDS Racing rider Redding, de Angelis and Iannone all taking their turn to push from the front.
The battle for supremacy soon developed into a three-rider dice with Aspar rider di Meglio unable to live with the blistering pace. He was out of contention on lap ten and he eventually slipped back down to sixth behind team-mate Julian Simon and Stefan Bradl.
Seven laps remained when Iannone’s challenge for a fourth victory started to wilt as he struggled to stay with Redding and de Angelis because of rear grip issues.
He fell 0.8s back and on lap 20 he’d clearly settled for a safe third place as he dropped over 1.5s behind Redding.
It was on the same lap that former Gresini Honda rider de Angelis made his decisive attack to deny Redding his second Grand Prix victory.
The Italian opened up a 0.538s advantage on Redding and on lap 21 he was 0.917s clear with the Gloucestershire unable to respond in windy conditions at the spectacular Phillip Island track.
Redding finished 2.172s back at the end but he was ecstatic with his second Moto2 rostrum coming just seven days after he was forced to retire in Sepang with chronic heat exhaustion.
It was his best result in the ultra-competitive new Moto2 class, bettering his third place in searing heat at the Indianapolis round in America in late August. The result also elevated Redding, who remains the youngest rider in history ever to win a Grand Prix, five places up the rankings and into the top ten.
He said: “Man, I am so pumped I can hardly remember what happened. It was a great race with Iannone and de Angelis and I was battling hard. I actually pulled a bit of a gap but lost the front at turn nine and Alex came by.
"We had a good tussle but it was a fantastic race. The team gave me a really good bike and we are coming stronger and stronger. Alex just seemed to have a bit more edge grip than me at the end."
Victory was a sweet moment for de Angelis, who had claimed his first Moto2 pole position for the JiR squad yesterday.
He is in his third team of 2010 and with Redding was involved in Shoya Tomizawa’s fatal accident at Misano back in early September.
He dedicated his first win since the Valencia 250GP in 2006 to the Japanese rider and he said:
“I am very happy with this victory after a very difficult period for me. I want to dedicate this victory to Shoya Tomizawa. This victory is unbelievable because in the first ten laps I was in trouble.
"I had a hard tyre on but it was a bit too hard but I could see the others were having more trouble than me. So I never looked back and pushed as hard as I could.”