Scott Redding misses out on emulating Barry Sheene
Last Updated: 27/10/13 3:36pm
Scott Redding: Missed out on keeping Moto2 championship alive
Scott Redding missed out on becoming Britain's first motorcycling champion since Barry Sheene in 1977 when he crashed out of the Moto2 Grand Prix in Japan.
Redding fell on the first lap, allowing Pol Espargaro, the title race leader, to roar to victory when the race was re-started and seal the title at Motegi.
Redding had led the title race until last weekend in Australia which the Briton had to skip because of a fractured wrist, with Espargaro taking over at the top.
And Redding's first-lap crash handed the Spaniard the title on a plate.
Espargaro took the lead at turn eleven from Mika Kallio in the early stages and never looked back, his victory opening up an unassailable 41-point lead with only the final race in Valencia to come.
It was cruel luck on Redding after a superb season. Dominique Aegerter crashed and Tito Rabat then fell into the pack and right in front of Redding, who hit the Spaniard and crashed.
Redding was taken away on a stretcher but was later given the all-clear. The race was immediately red-flagged and replaced by a 15-lap sprint which Espargaro won.
Mika Kallio, who had started from pole, came second ahead of Tom Luthi.
Redding - who moves up to MotoGP next season - said: "I feel really knocked down at the moment. I came back from quite a big injury and I was again strong and then I got knocked down again and it had me thinking 'how many times do I have to get up?'
"I need to try and get the wrist ready to go because in MotoGP there is a lot more power, but I also want to go to the final race of the season in Valencia and be strong there because I want a good result.
"I have nothing to lose."