Scott Redding misses out on emulating Barry Sheene
Scott Redding has missed out on becoming Britain's first motorcycling champion since Barry Sheene in 1977.
Last Updated: 27/10/13 3:36pm
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."