Moto Media

Pedrosa returns to winning ways in Malaysia

pedrosa sepang race motogp

Marc Marquez completed a Repsol Honda Team one-two after a nail-biting battle with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, as the reigning World Champion rounded out the podium.

With four races to go in 2013, Sepang marked the first event of a triple-header which next weekend takes the MotoGP™ fraternity to Australia, before racing in Japan on the final weekend of the month. Saturday saw Marquez storm to a fourth consecutive pole position as the newcomer attempted to edge ever closer to an historic title win.

Pedrosa’s victory came as his first for almost five months, having not stood atop the podium since Le Mans in mid-May. He narrowly missed out on taking the lead as Lorenzo swept through at the start, but overhauled the Mallorcan at the end of the first lap. As Lorenzo became involved in an intense battle with Marquez, who finally made the move stick at Turn 14 with just over 11 laps to go, Pedrosa extended his advantage to pick up a second successive victory on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

The result means all three of the rostrum finishers retain mathematical possibilities of clinching the World Championship, although Marquez is the only rider who could claim the title at Phillip Island next weekend. Should he do so, the 20-year-old Catalan would become the first rookie premier class title winner for 35 years.

Outside of the top three at Sepang, multiple winner Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing) experienced a somewhat lonely ride to fourth spot as Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) came out on top in a battle with Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech3); the Spaniard now moves up to sixth place in the Riders’ Championship, ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl who was forced to miss the race because of a broken ankle. Tech3’s Bradley Smith and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso were seventh and eighth, ahead of lead CRT runner Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics Aspar) and Yonny Hernandez (Ignite Pramac Racing).

In 15th spot, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards clinched the final point after he, Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera and PBM’s Michael Laverty were handed ride-through penalties for jumping the start. A total of five riders failed to finish, including 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden who parked his Ducati Team machine on the start/finish straight after suffering technical problems.

Round 16 of 18, the Tissot Australian Grand Prix, will take place next weekend as Marc Marquez attempts to become the youngest ever MotoGP™ World Champion.

What the riders said:

Dani Pedrosa - courtesy of Repsol Honda:  "It’s a great feeling to come back and to win this race after the huge crash at Aragon, because physically it is very hard here. I have had a hard week and almost couldn’t get out of bed. So it’s great to come back and win this for the fans and the team. It’s a shame really because I had a very good pace at Aragon and could have won, but unfortunately I crashed. So I just want to congratulate my fans, my team and my family.”

Marc Marquez - courtesy of Repsol Honda: "These 20 points are very important and I'm really happy with how the race went today,"  "I had a nice, fun battle with Lorenzo, but at the same time I could see that Dani was opening up a gap. When I finally managed to overtake Jorge and make the pass stick, I tried to reduce the distance that Dani had put between us. However, I saw that it was too risky. From that moment on, I decided to focus on keeping Lorenzo at bay because the goal here was to finish the race ahead of him. We did what we came here to do, so we are very happy!"

Jorge Lorenzo - Yamaha Factory Racing:  "I enjoyed the battle (with Marquez) because it was good fun and went on for a while. I’m happy with the podium because a podium is a podium, but I’m slightly disappointed too because I wanted to beat Dani and if possible win the race. Today in the heat we were not competitive enough. At the beginning like always we were not so bad but once the rear tyre dropped we weren’t strong enough on braking and the other guys recovered so much ground. In the middle of the race we also started to lose out on acceleration too. Third place was the best result possible and we did everything we could.

Valentino Rossi - Yamaha Factory Racing:  "Today was half and half for me. For sure we improved and made another step, improving the setting of the bike and I was able to be very close to Jorge. It looks like today our competitors had an advantage here; they were able to keep a better rhythm than us. Starting from second I hoped to arrive on the podium but I knew the top three guys were very strong. At the beginning of the race I lost some time as I had a problem with the front brakes. We continue to work and push and fight to be in with the top three."
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Team Director: "The weekend didn't go as we expected. We suffered a drop off in tyre life and the riders couldn't ride as they needed to. We tried hard to make the best setting to be fast and consistent but unfortunately we still needed something more. We won’t give up until the end and fortunately there is one race in a week’s time. We would like to have our revenge so we are really looking forward to Phillip Island."

Moto2 - Rabat leads home Tuenti HP 40 one-two

rabat sepang race moto2

Tito Rabat has completed a controlled weekend in the Moto2™ Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle GP, topping every session before winning a shortened race. Pol Espargaro finished second with Scott Redding seventh, meaning the Englishman’s championship advantage decreases from twenty points to nine.

Originally scheduled to be a 19-lap encounter, the race distance was shortened to 12 tours following a delay after a multiple collision on the opening lap. After the initial incident for Axel Pons (Tuenti HP 40), Fadli Immammuddin (JIR Moto2) collected the stranded bike before Ezequiel Iturrioz (Blusens Avintia), Zaqhwan Zaidi (Technomag carXpert) and Decha Kraisart (Singha Eneos Yamaha Tech 3) also became involved. Thankfully, all riders escaped major injury.

At the restart, Espargaro took advantage by clinching the lead, only for Rabat to slide back ahead and remain in front for the rest of the race. His third victory of the season moves him to within 28 points of the championship leader with a maximum of 75 still on offer across the final trio of Grands Prix. After overhauling Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Luthi at the start of the penultimate tour, Espargaro clinched second place to reduce Redding’s championship lead yet further.

Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) lost another point when Johann Zarco (Came Iodaracing Project) slipstreamed his way into sixth place on the finish line, while fourth and fifth positions were filled by Redding’s teammate Mika Kallio and Technomag carXpert’s Dominique Aegerter, who at the restart appeared to have triggered an incident which took both Alex de Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) and Xavier Simeon (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team) out of the race.

Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) fell at the final corner following a battle with Danny Kent (Tech3) who finished 12th, while Anthony West was 13th for QMMF Racing Team to pick up points in his 200th World Championship start. Three races remain in the 2013 season, starting with the Tissot Australian Grand Prix from Phillip Island next weekend.

Moto3 - Salom beats Rins after thrilling battle

salom race moto3 sepang

Luis Salom has extended his Moto3™ championship lead by coming out on top of a multiple-rider battle in Malaysia. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider beat Alex Rins by just 69 thousands of a second, with Miguel Oliveira completing the podium.

After 18 circulations of the Sepang International Circuit, the lead had changed almost by the lap, with a dramatic race always in prospect after a shaking up of the usual order in Saturday’s qualifying session. Salom started from pole position, with Ongetta-Rivacold’s Alexis Masbou and GO&FUN Gresini Moto3’s Niccolo Antonelli sharing the front row. Masbou would take the lead as the race began, but by the time the final lap arrived the Frenchman had fallen to seventh while a six-rider group battled for the positions at the sharp end of the race.

Leading into the final lap, Salom would lose his advantage to Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Rins but had critically retaken the advantage as the pack headed down the back straight for the final time. Rins attacked at the final corner, but was narrowly deprived of a hat-trick of consecutive victories. In third place, Miguel Oliveira and Mahindra Racing collected their first podium finish of the 2013 campaign, while the top five was completed by Rins’ teammate Alex Marquez and Team Calvo’s Maverick Viñales (both of whom had enjoyed stints in the lead), with Jack Miller sixth for Caretta Technology – RTG but only one second behind the winner.

The aforementioned Masbou ended his day in seventh spot, ahead of Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger who had topped the Warm-Up session, while Team Calvo’s Ana Carrasco was delighted to score her first World Championship point courtesy of 15th position. There was immense disappointment for Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin, unable to race in his home Grand Prix and in which he finished a close second last year, as he suffered pain from the wrist injury he sustained last time out in Aragón. Eight riders failed to finish, including Antonelli and CIP Moto3’s Alan Techer who was taken to the Medical Centre after suffering a fracture to his left kneecap.

Salom’s victory raises his points total to 284 with three races remaining, leading Rins by 14 points with a maximum of 75 still on offer. Viñales sits third on 258 points, 26 in arrears of Salom ahead of next weekend’s Tissot Australian Grand Prix.