Marquez wins at Sepang after Rossi crashes out of lead

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez has claimed victory in the Malaysian MotoGP after Valentino Rossi crashed from the lead in the final four laps.

Rossi had headed the field from the start but Marquez, who started seventh due to a grid penalty, was closing in when the veteran Italian went down on Lap 16.

Alex Rins passed Johann Zarco on the final lap to take second while Jack Miller faded to eighth after running as high as third at Sepang.

Marquez gained one position off the start and two more by the end of the lap, despite very nearly spilling his Repsol Honda at the last corner.

Andrea Iannone saw the front of his Suzuki Ecstar entry also fold, immediately behind Marquez, but he couldn’t save it and that was the end of the Italian’s afternoon.

Marquez picked off Miller on Lap 2 and Zarco on Lap 5, at which time he was 0.7s behind the #46 Movistar Yamaha.

That lead got as high as 1.2s on Lap 12 before the Spaniard began to reverse the trend.

He was back within 0.7s at the end of Lap 16, just as Rossi’s front wheel washed away at Turn 1.

The crash handed Marquez a lead which exceeded four seconds and the 2018 world champion strolled to a ninth win of the campaign.

Rins ran down Zarco, passing the Tech3 Yamaha at Turn 4 on Lap 20, and they took up the minor placings with second a career personal best for the Suzuki Ecstar rider.

Maverick Viñales (Suzuki Ecstar) was held up by Alvaro Bautista (Nieto Ducati) in the early stages after qualifying only 11th in the damp conditions, but he still rode all the way up to fourth in the dry.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) finished fifth and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) an unremarkable sixth, but that was still enough to lock up second in the world championship for a second year running after Rossi remounted but took the chequered flag outside the points in 18th.

Bautista and the Pramac Ducatis of Miller and Danilo Petrucci filled seventh through ninth, while Hafizh Syahrin finished 10th from the rear of the 23-bike grid in his first MotoGP race on home soil.

The Tech3 Yamaha rider made up 12 of those 13 positions in the first lap alone, and the other when Rossi went down.

Stefan Bradl was 13th as injury replacement for LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, but Jorge Lorenzo’s stand-in Michele Pirro crashed his factory Ducati.

Karel Abraham (Nieto Ducati) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM) both retired during the race.

The interest in the championship now turns to the intra-team battle for third between Rossi and Viñales.

The former takes a two-point advantage to the finale at Valencia on November 16-18.

Race results: Malaysian MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 40:32.372
2 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +1.898
3 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +2.474
4 25 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +4.667
5 26 Dani PEDROSA ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +6.190
6 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +11.248
7 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA ESP Angel Nieto Team Ducati +15.611
8 43 Jack MILLER AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +19.009
9 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +22.921
10 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +26.919
11 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +29.503
12 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +30.933
13 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +35.322
14 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +37.912
15 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +39.675
16 12 Thomas LUTHI SUI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +41.820
17 10 Xavier SIMEON BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +43.978
18 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +58.288
19 45 Scott REDDING GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +1:00.191
DNF 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 4 Laps
DNF 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 15 Laps
DNF 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati 17 Laps

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 321
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 220
3 Valentino ROSSI ITA 195
4 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 193
5 Alex RINS ESP 149
6 Johann ZARCO FRA 149
8 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 144
9 Andrea IANNONE ITA 133
10 Jorge LORENZO ESP 130
11 Dani PEDROSA ESP 106
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA ESP 105
13 Jack MILLER AUS 91
16 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL 40
17 Tito RABAT ESP 35
19 Bradley SMITH GBR 30
20 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 23
21 Scott REDDING GBR 15
22 Karel ABRAHAM CZE 10
23 Mika KALLIO FIN 6
24 Stefan BRADL GER 3
25 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN 2
26 Xavier SIMEON BEL 1
27 Michele PIRRO ITA 1
28 Thomas LUTHI SUI 0
29 Jordi TORRES ESP 0
30 Mike JONES AUS 0
31 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA 0
32 Christophe PONSSON FRA 0

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