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Thursday October 24, 2013 MYT 4:02:17 PM
Thursday October 24, 2013 MYT 4:03:03 PM
Kalex Moto 2 rider Scott Redding takes a curve during the third free practice at Motorland race track in Alcaniz September 28, 2013 . REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino
(Reuters) - Injured Moto2 rider Scott Redding is refusing to give up hope of becoming Britain's first grand prix motorcycling world champion since Barry Sheene 36 years ago after being passed fit to race in Japan on Sunday.
Redding dropped to second in the standings, 16 points adrift of Pol Espargaro, after fracturing his left wrist in qualifying in Australia last week and being unable to ride in the race, which was won by his Spanish rival.
The Briton, who is graduating to MotoGP next season with Gresini Honda, underwent surgery in Melbourne at the weekend with a plate and six screws inserted.
After four days of rehabilitation, the 20-year-old passed a medical at the Motegi circuit on Thursday and declared himself back in the fight.
"There was no way I was going home after Australia, not when there was even an outside chance I could ride in Japan," Redding said in a team statement. "Even after the surgery on Sunday morning I knew I was going to Japan to try and ride.
"As the medical staff here at Motegi have now confirmed I'm fit to ride. I have to undergo another assessment after the two free practice sessions tomorrow, but I'll know straight away whether it's possible to race," he added.
"If I'm fit to race then the goal has to be to ensure the championship battle goes down to the final round in Valencia, for which I'll have had more recovery time."
Japan is the penultimate round of the season and Espargaro, who is also moving up to MotoGP next season with Tech3 Yamaha, can clinch the Moto2 title if results go his way.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Peter Rutherford)
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