Pedrosa dominates in Malaysia as Marquez crashes out after controversial clash with Rossi
Pole man Dani Pedrosa led every lap of today’s Malaysian GP to take his second win of the season and seal the hat-trick of victories for the Repsol Honda Team in the fly away races. Unfortunately teammate Marc Marquez was involved in an incident with Valentino Rossi and crashed out on lap five.
Dani made a strong start off the line with Marc closely behind him however, after a small mistake on lap two Marc was passed by Lorenzo in turn four demoting him to third place and in front of Rossi. As Dani took control at the front, Marc and Rossi fought fiercely for third place and on lap four the two riders passed each other nine times, with Marc leading as they began lap five.
Again they battled and passed one another five times with Rossi in front as they exited turn thirteen. With Marc on the outside, Rossi slowed them both down into turn fourteen and then extended his leg into Marc’s bike causing him to crash. Dani remained untouchable at the front, winning comfortably with a margin of 3.6 seconds over Lorenzo.
After the podium ceremony, Rossi and Marc were called to Race Direction for a hearing. Their decision – after speaking with both riders – was to give three penalty points to Valentino, resulting in him starting the final race of the season from the back of the grid, as he already has one penalty point after an incident in Misano. Yamaha appealed this decision and the FIM had their own hearing with both riders but the appeal was declined and the penalty stands.
With his victory, Dani moves up into 4th in the Championship Standings with just one race of 2015 remaining in Valencia.
1ST CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 4TH – 190 POINTS
“I am very happy because it was a very nice Grand Prix! We had a good feeling from Friday, we were able to manage the weekend well and above all we had a bike that worked very well during every practice. The setup we used at this circuit in February during testing helped me a lot and I’m very happy to take this win for my team, who have been behind me all the way. I am especially pleased to finish the season very positively, as it has been a hard year but we are now recovering well and we’re in good form. Australia is always the hardest race of the year for me, but that turned out fine and I’m really glad we completed the fly aways like this.”
DNF CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 3RD – 222 POINTS
“We were having a good race up until the incident. At the beginning I made a mistake, but then I regained confidence. Valentino overtook me, I followed him for half a lap, and I saw that I could go faster than him, so I tried overtake him back. We started a fight between us and I always passed without making any contact with him. At Turn 14 he passed me on the inside, I sat the bike up, he kept going straight ahead and I saw him looking at me. I didn’t know what to do. Then he kicked out at me, knocking my brake lever, and I crashed. I will leave the sanction in the hands of Race Direction. All I know is that I scored zero points and ended up in the gravel, but thankfully I’m fine. Both what Valentino said to Race Direction and what he did on the track has made me disappointed. I’ve never seen anything like it: a rider kicking another rider. It might be down to nerves, but I want to try to forget about all this and the important thing is that I’m fine physically. I hope, for the sake of the sport that this ends here.”
Team Principal / Communications and Marketing Director
“For the Repsol Honda Team what happened today is something we never want to see in racing, as it is unacceptable that a rider would intentionally create a dangerous situation causing the crash of another rider. We love motorsport and we like to see riders competing for victory, but there must be a limit and mutual respect of each other.”
Yamaha Scores Tenth Double Podium in Sepang Race
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo gave a brilliant performance today to take second at a scorching hot Sepang International Circuit and prolong the championship battle to the final round in Valencia. Teammate Valentino Rossi fought one of the hardest battles of his career to protect his championship ambitions and took third. He received three penalty points by the Race Direction for which an appeal to the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) was rejected.
A dramatic Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix saw Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi claim Yamaha’s tenth double podium of the season at the Sepang International Circuit.
Lorenzo had a good start off the line at the beginning of the Sepang battle, but found himself squeezed out by Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso and emerged from the first corner in sixth position. The Majorcan immediately went to work and needed only half a lap to recover to fourth in pursuit of his teammate.
Lorenzo soon arrived at the back of Rossi and smoothly passed him after two laps to move up to second when Marquez made a mistake in turn four and the Majorcan took full advantage. Lorenzo quickly moved on to chase Dani Pedrosa, but was unable to win ground and finished the race in second, trailing 3.612s.
As of today’s race Valentino Rossi holds the record of most starts in Grand Prix history with 329 starts in what is probably his most dramatic as of yet. The Doctor had a good launch from third on the grid and kept his position as he settled behind Pedrosa and Marquez into the first turn. As Lorenzo started to move up the order, Rossi tried to respond, but was forced to let the Majorcan pass with nineteen laps to go and soon found himself trailing Marquez and one of the most heated scraps of the century ensued.
For four laps the Italian and Spaniard bashed fairings and overtook in almost every corner. The fight was decided when with fourteen laps to go Marc crashed as the result of the two coming into contact at turn 13. Rossi continued the race in third place in a lonely ride and held his position over the line, 13.724s from the front.
Lorenzo’s comeback from second row to second place earns him 20 points and leaves him second in the championship standings with 305 points. Rossi’s performance sees him take 16 points and leaves him still leading on 312 points, just 7 points in front of his teammate in the battle for the World Championship Title.
Following the incident in turn 13, Race Direction has decided to impose 3 penalty points to Rossi, who will start the next Valencia race from the back of the grid. The following appeal by the Team to the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) has been rejected.
2nd / +3.612 / 20 laps
“It was a very hard race. I gave the maximum to keep Dani’s rear wheel as close as possible, but to be honest his pace had been unbelievable. He was so quick and consistent and picked up the bike in a perfect way, so it was very difficult to overtake him on braking. I could only finish in second place, which is important because we recovered points. When I saw the battle between Marc and Valentino I was really surprised because the action was huge and I have to respect race direction’s decision.”
3rd / +13.724 / 20 laps
“Marquez knows it wasn’t red mist that caused the incident. It’s very clear from the helicopter footage that I didn’t want to make him crash, I just wanted to make him lose time, go outside of the line and slow down, because he was playing his dirty game, even worse than in Australia. When I went wide and slowed down to nearly a stop, I looked at him as if to say ‘what are you doing?’. After that we touched. He touched with his right underarm on my leg and my foot slipped off the foot peg. If you look at the image from the helicopter it’s clear that when my foot slipped of the foot peg, Marquez had already crashed. I didn’t want to kick him, especially because, if you give a kick to a MotoGP bike, it won’t crash, it’s very heavy. For me the sanction is not fair, because Marquez won his fight. His program is OK because he is making me lose the championship. The sanction is not good, especially for me, because I didn’t purposefully want to make him crash, I just reacted to his behaviour, but I didn’t kick him. You can’t say anything in the press conference, maybe it changes something, but to me this was not fair, because I just want to fight for the championship with Jorge and let the better man win, but like this that’s not happening. Like I said, I didn’t want to make Marquez crash, but I had to do something because at that moment Jorge was already gone. The championship is not over yet, but this sanction cut me off by the legs and made Marquez win.”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“It’s a shame to see such a beautiful championship, that was supposed to result in one of the most exciting battles between the two Yamaha riders, be affected and almost compromised by another rider. We should be here today dealing with Jorge’s amazing performance on track and his second place, as well as another thrilling battle among top riders but unfortunately this is not the case. We made an appeal to the FIM stewards against the penalty issued by the Race Direction because whilst we respect the infringement, we felt 3 penalty points were too harsh. We have since heard that the appeal has been rejected. We respect this final decision.”
Disappointing Shell Malaysia Grand Prix for Ducati Team as Iannone and Dovizioso retire at Sepang
Both Ducati Team men were forced to retire from the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the 2015 season, which was held today at the Sepang International Circuit.
Andrea Iannone, who started from sixth place on row 2, suffered a setback immediately after the start, when a stone holed the radiator of his Desmosedici GP15 and the Italian had to stop on lap 2.
Andrea Dovizioso, who started from row 3 with seventh quickest time, powered away well from the grid and crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in fifth place. The Italian maintained that position until lap 6 and then moved up one place on the following lap after Marquez crashed out. Andrea stayed in fourth place for four laps, but on lap 11 he crashed following a contact with Crutchlow, who was trying to overtake him.
After these results, Iannone drops to fifth place in the overall standings, two points behind Pedrosa, while Dovizioso remains in seventh place behind Smith.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – DNF
“Today the conditions were very difficult, because it was really hot and it was not possible to push as hard as we did in practice. I was trying to manage the situation in order to get to the flag in a good condition. Crutchlow tried to pass me in the change of direction between Turns 5 and 6 but he was not able to control his bike and made me lose the front. I know Cal well and I’m sure he didn’t do it deliberately, but he caused me a lot of damage and in the championship we lost too many points from Smith. It was a real pity, because even with these extreme conditions we could have taken home a good result.”
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – DNF
“I’m really disappointed because for the second time this season I had a problem with the bike at an important moment for me, seeing as I am fighting for fourth place in the championship. Here there was a chance of doing a good race, because this morning in the warm-up the bike was going well. Probably at the start a rider ahead of me threw up a stone which hit and holed the radiator. For sure it’s not an ideal situation to go to Valencia two points down on Pedrosa: it will be tough to fight for fourth place, but that remains my goal and I will try my hardest to achieve it.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“Despite a few problems in practice, we managed to find a good set-up for both our riders and as a result we were confident we could do a good race. Unfortunately Iannone had to stop immediately with a hole in his radiator, caused by a stone at the start, while Dovizioso was having a good race in fourth place until he crashed after making contact with Crutchlow. It was a pity because also here in Malaysia both of our riders could have scored some useful points for the championship.”
CRUTCHLOW CLAIMS STRONG FIFTH POSITION AT SEPANG
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow continued his excellent recent form as he took fifth place in the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International circuit. The result was a fine way to sign off the three flyaway races which also produced sixth and seventh place finishes in Japan and Australia.
Starting from fifth spot on the grid, Crutchlow revealed he had been hampered by a braking issue with his RC213V during Sunday’s race. But he managed his machine impressively and produced a smooth ride to seal another highly-creditable points finish. The Briton is now aiming to improve once again in Valencia and finish the MotoGP season in style.
Cal Crutchlow #35 (5th – 41m 06.412s)
“It was a bit of a strange race today. I had a problem with the brake lever after about eight laps and I managed the tyres as best as possible, but obviously I did not have great feeling with the brakes because of this problem.
“But to finish these three flyaway races with fifth is a good result, although perhaps we should have been in fourth place today, riding our own race not too far behind Valentino (Rossi). But it wasn’t to be and now we have to go to Valencia and try to keep improving once again.
“Also I would like to say sorry to Dovi (Andrea Dovizioso) as I knocked him off – he is the last rider on the track I would want to knock off as he is the cleanest rider. I apologized to him and he took it very well.”
Unstoppable Pedrosa takes dominant victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix
Round 17: Malaysian MotoGP – Race
Sepang, Sunday 25 October 2015
Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft & Hard (Symmetric) & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds: Hard (Main) & Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 35-35°C; Track 48-50°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa converted his record-breaking pace in qualifying into a race winning performance at today’s Malaysian Grand Prix, the Spaniard scoring his second victory from the last three races.
Starting on pole position, Pedrosa got the holeshot to lead into the first corner and led for the entirety of the race, his overall race time setting a new record for the Malaysian Grand Prix, beating the old mark by over seven seconds. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi finished in second and third place respectively, the result meaning that Lorenzo closes the gap to his teammate to just seven points with just one round left to decide the 2015 MotoGP? World Champion.
Race day at the Malaysian Grand Prix experienced similar weather to the previous two days of the race weekend, with hot, humid conditions. The peak track temperature during the race was 50°C, a figure only slightly warmer than yesterday afternoon and as a result, tyre choice was largely the same as seen in Free Practice 4. The medium compound front slick was used by every single rider for the race except for Octo Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez, who selected the hard compound front slick instead. Rear tyre choice saw the majority of riders selecting the medium compound rear slick, with sixteen of the riders choosing this option, while the remaining nine entrants opted for the soft compound rear slick. Tyre performance over the twenty laps of the Malaysian Grand Prix was exceptional, with Lorenzo setting a new Sepang Circuit Record Lap time of 2’00.606, beating the old mark by over half a second, while three other riders also set personal best lap times quicker than the old record.
Rossi holds a seven point lead in the championship standings over Lorenzo heading into the season finale at Valencia in two weeks’ time. However, Race Direction has given Rossi a penalty following an incident with Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez, meaning he will start from the back of the grid in Valencia. Marquez holds onto third place in the championship standings on 222 points despite suffering his fifth DNF of the season today.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Dani showed his amazing talent in the way he dominated the race today, so congratulations to both him and Honda on a thoroughly deserved victory. This race will be talked about for years to come and is yet another exciting chapter in what has been one of the most closely followed MotoGP seasons in years. We had a record race-day crowd of 88,832 at Sepang today and we are all set for a spectacular season finale in front of a sold-out Valencia circuit in a fortnight’s time. It was also an incredible Grand Prix for Bridgestone as all three Sepang records, the Circuit Best Lap, Circuit Record Lap and overall race time records were beaten by huge margins. It has been a busy three week period for our staff, but we head to the last race of the season in high spirits as we look to end our MotoGP adventure in the best way possible.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“We had a dry race today with similar conditions to yesterday, so tyre choice was largely as we expected with the medium compound front and rear slicks being by far the most popular choice. After the outright lap record for Sepang was broken yesterday, we could see that the riders were able to ride at a very quick pace during the race on our 2015 specification tyres, with a new race lap record and overall race time being set. Overall it was a good weekend for Bridgestone and we now look forward to finishing the season on another positive note at Valencia.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner
“It was a really tough race physically, as the conditions were extremely hot and the track is very demanding. All weekend my pace was very good so I think my team did a good job and I’m happy that I could win the race and share it with them and all my supporters. We are progressing well and I’m very happy with the victory today and I’ll try to finish the season in the same way.”
APRILIA, BEST RACE OF THE SEASON WITH STEFAN BRADL FINISHING TENTH. ALVARO BAUTISTA ALSO FINISHES IN THE POINTS
ROMANO ALBESIANO: “WE ARE IMPROVING AND WE ARE CONFIDENT FOR NEXT SEASON”
Sepang (Malaysia), 25 October 2015 – With a nice weekend that he had begun during practice and qualifiers, Stefan Bradl rode his Aprilia RS-GP to a tenth place finish on the demanding Sepang track. Bautista also, despite problems with poor grip, finished in the points to contribute to the best weekend of the season for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini which finished the race taking tenth and fifteenth place.
After a very good start – Bradl moved into eighth on the first lap and Bautista fourteenth – the two riders joined the central group. After finding his pace in tenth place, Stefan battled skilfully, holding onto his position and finishing just behind the group that was battling for positions up to seventh place. Alvaro, with grip progressively worsening, was forced to give up fourteenth place just before the wire, in any case earning one championship point.
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“We are very pleased. This was our very best race of the year with the overall performance of both riders and for Stefan’s work in practice and especially in the race, where he took a brilliant placement, above all staying close to the second group and also staying ahead of some very talented rivals. It was a shame about Alvaro who was unable to solve his grip problems throughout the weekend. I’m thinking back to our first tests on this track and I can see that our bike has improved a lot. We have two excellent riders and all of this makes us confident for next season.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“Stefan rode an incredible race. He really did well. We took a well deserved tenth place finish, especially since we crossed the wire very close the group of riders ahead of us. This is very satisfying and, thinking back over our progress, performance that shows just how far we have come in less than a year. Today we saw an important race which, besides Stefan’s good finish, had Alvaro finishing in the points despite some more difficulties compared to his team mate.”
“First of all I’d like to thank the team, Romano Albesiano and Fausto Gresini for believing in me and giving me this chance, especially after the disappointing first half of my season. I had already shown my potential various times in practice, but it took just a bit more time to come up with a concrete race result. Throughout the weekend everything went very well. We were able to find a good setup from the start and the entire team worked very well, as always. It’s nice to have been able to give them a good result in return, which they definitely deserve. It was a very long race for me. At the beginning I could have been very fast, but not enough to follow the riders ahead of me, so once I found myself on my own it was hard to stay focused and manage the gap over my rivals. I’m very happy. Finally a good race result!”
“This was a hard race for me because I wasn’t able to find the right setup. We tested a lot of things but I was never able to find a good feeling, so from this point of view it was the most difficult race yet. I also got off the line well but the front end kept closing up going into turns and when the tyres started to wear I had big problems with grip. It’s a shame because in recent races things had gone rather well. But now I want to thank the team for all the hard work they did for me and congratulate Stefan who had a great weekend and was very competitive in the race as well.”
Smith delivers superb performance to clinch 4th at Sepang
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith conquered the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand prix with a superbly calculated run to 4th position in today’s round 17 battle. The 24 year old got straight to work as soon as the race kicked into gear in the searing heat at Sepang as he leapt forward from the third row of the grid. The Briton muscled his way around the 5.5 kilometre circuit on the opening lap which he finished in 10th and he remained confident of ascending through the field. By lap 4, Smith had already passed three riders and found himself in 7th position. His pace continued to increase and just before the midpoint of the race, the Briton was in 6th and homing in on Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow. He chipped away and brilliantly shot past Crutchlow on the 11th lap, clinching 4th as well as the lead of the satellite bike battle. Smith then pulled clear of the pursuing rider and stretched out in front. He comfortably carried on his rhythm before finishing the GP in this position, after having opened up a gap of 4.726 seconds over Crutchlow by the time the chequered flag fell. The strong result marks a positive close in the challenging conditions for the young British rider and sees his points tally rise to 171 in the MotoGP standings where he currently sits in 6th, with one round left to race in the 2015 World Championship.
Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro produced a brave and relentless effort as he rode through the pain to finish in 9th in the gruelling Sepang Grand Prix. The young Spaniard started the 20 lap battle from the fourth row, despite experiencing huge discomfort in his cervical spine after falling due to a collision with Barberá in the morning warm up. Yet, an X-ray confirmed that there was no fracture and Espargaro was given the all clear to race. However, the 24 year old remained fully focused and determined to clinch a solid result when the lights flicked off. Espargaro undertook a strong start and picked his way through the field to finish the opening lap in 7th, having moved up four places from his grid placement. He immediately stuck into his race pace as he sought to remain with the leading group, yet slipped back one place by the start of the fourth lap. Espargaro remained in this position but as the end of the GP inched closer, he became engaged in the fight for 6th with three other riders. However, his heroic effort saw him eventually cross the finish line in 9th despite riding with the injury. He now looks towards the season finale at Valencia in two weeks, where he will aim to close the year positively with a strong result.
Position : 4th
Championship : 6th
Points : 171
“Obviously, finishing this race in 4th position is a fantastic result, especially after such a challenging weekend. Going from 14th at the end of day one to 4th today highlights the great effort by the team and I must thank them for this. In all honesty, we really struggled in the last few days, but we just kept on trying to improve step by step. Things eventually looked good in warm up and I was able to follow a few riders, plus we made another positive change on our Yamaha for the race. Therefore I felt confident, because I knew that I had a good rhythm and I would be able to remain consistent in my lap times. In addition, I know how to ride with old tyres here. When the lights finally went out, I got a good start, but then I lost a bit of time in the second corner. However, I was able to pass Stefan Bradl quite quickly and then I tried to keep the gap to Cal and Dovizioso the same because I believed that at one point in the race, I could close in on them. Therefore, I also tried to look after my tyres the best that I could. It was unfortunate for Dovizioso because he had that incident with Cal, which is a shame because it would have been good to fight with him. Yet, after that, I was able to catch Cal and then I pushed as hard as possible in the last 7 laps to open up a gap. It is amazing to get 13 points as we have now extended the points lead over Dovizioso for 6th position in the championship. So we definitely have something to celebrate and we can go home with a smile on our faces after a positive three weeks.”
Position : 9th
Championship : 10th
Points : 103
“I must admit that today’s race was one of the hardest that I have ever had to ride. During the warm up this morning, Barberá crashed into me and I hurt my neck badly. As a result, I had to get it checked before the race so I went to the hospital and to the Clinica Mobile. I have to thank all of the staff, because they worked really hard to make sure that I was in the best possible condition, although in all honesty, I wasn’t feeling great at all. I knew that it was going to be a hard race and sure enough, it was. I experienced a lot of pain and sometimes I even felt dizzy, but I gave it my 100% and tried my best to get to the chequered flag. Obviously, how I felt riding the bike as well as the setting and everything else was less important, as I was just fighting and counting down the laps. Yet, looking back, I think I could have clinched a good result bearing in mind how the race progressed and how my pace was in the practice this morning. Anyway, now I will have my neck checked again in Barcelona and after that, I will try to be as fit as possible for Valencia.”
Hervé Poncharal – Team manager :
“I am very happy and proud of both of our guys and what a great way to end the weekend in Malaysia. Bradley had an amazing race and brilliantly overcame the tricky weekend that he was experiencing. It was clear to see that he had been struggling every day and the fact that he went through QP1 highlighted the fact that we were far from where we were supposed to be. Fortunately Brad had a much better feeling in the warm up and when the race began, he had a good start as usual. We knew that physically he was really fit, plus able to cope with the heat and this is exactly what he did as he posted consistent times lap after lap which meant that he moved through the field. He had a fight with Cal, who made a slight mistake which allowed Bradley to open a gap and then he stretched ahead and even closed in on Valentino a little bit. So overall, we are more than happy with his 4th place. I would also like to commend Pol and thank him for trying as hard as he did. We knew that he had a crash in this morning’s warm up due to colliding with Barberá. This caused him to injure his vertebrae and it was touch and go as to whether he would be fit for the race. Yet, once he got going, he pushed as hard as he could and in the end he got some good championship points. All in all, the outcome of the third flyaway round was very positive, so hopefully we can repeat a similar performance in Valencia.”
Points for Redding in incident packed Malaysian encounter
Sepang, Malaysia – 25 October 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider, Scott Redding, secured his eighth successive points scoring finish with 11th place in the heat and humidity of Malaysia.
With both air and track temperatures rising considerably ahead of the 20-Lap MotoGP race, Redding struggled with a lack of front grip from the start. As the 22-year-old Briton pushed to stay in contact with the group ahead of him the problem worsened, with Redding unable to get the bike stopped in the slower corners, as the front started to slide.
After a number of close calls with the front closing on him in the corners, Redding opted to ease off, preferring to finish and pick up more points rather than falling foul of the greasy track conditions and bringing his race to a premature end in the gravel.
Scott Redding: 11th
“It was a hard race because I was struggling with front grip from the start. I was trying to push to stay on the back of the group ahead of me, but I kept closing the front and if the rear had grip it was pushing the front as well. I was also struggling to stop the bike in the slower corners because the front was sliding and I lost contact. That made it harder because I was alone for most of the race. But, the fact that we finished is a big positive. I used to struggle here in Sepang, but to have no real problems with the heat and humidity today is good for my confidence. A tough race and one in which I was happy to see the chequered flag.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Our goal was to finish in the top ten, like always, but we missed out once again by just one place today. It’s not what we wanted, but we know that this is one of Scott’s least favourite tracks, so we can be relatively satisfied with the result given the problems he encountered in the race, while hoping for better next time in the final race of the season, and Scott’s last race for the team, in Valencia.”
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar pair outside the points in Sepang race
Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty struggle for grip in Malaysian heat, finishing sixteenth and nineteenth respectively
The Malaysian Grand Prix had been simmering since Thursday and today it hit boiling point in a moment of controversy that will dominate sporting headlines around the world tonight. Pedrosa, Márquez and Rossi started from the front row at Sepang, poleman Pedrosa getting the perfect start to leaving feuding trio Rossi, Lorenzo and Márquez in his wake. Lorenzo made an early pass on Rossi at the start of the second lap before going on to clock a new record of 2’00.606 and then passing Márquez for second place. With Rossi and Márquez now locked together in an intense battle for third, the pair came close to making contact on several occasions before a clash on the seventh lap saw the Spaniard crash out. With Pedrosa and Lorenzo clear at the front, Rossi rode home to a lonely third but he was later hit by a penalty from Race Direction that will see him start from the back of the grid in a final-round title decider at Valencia.
The race panned out differently for the two POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders although they finished with very similar results. Nicky Hayden made a strong start and had advanced several positions on the opening laps before he was forced to back off after several front-end scares. As his fuel load lightened towards the end of the race the American was able to make a pass on Miller and claim sixteenth position. His team-mate Eugene Laverty, who has shown good form in the hotter afternoon conditions of free practice, did not have the same feeling in the race today and he struggled to make an impact, crossing the line in nineteenth position.
16th Nicky Hayden:
“Another sixteenth place finish! I don’t know how many of those I’ve had this year but way too many. I expected a little something better today for sure. I got an okay start, got roughed up a little on the first lap, which was my fault, and then I started picking some guys off. I felt like I was on the limit on the front but I was making some passes and doing some decent lap times. Then I had one big moment on the front and then another one and eventually I had to slow down or else there was no way I was going to finish. Some of the guys came back past me and it was heartbreaking to see them get away. It was a long race but as the fuel load went down, over the last three laps I was able to do some decent lap times again and get back in front of Jack [Miller] and pull a little gap on him. Unfortunately the gap to the rest was already too big to make up, so that was that.”
19th Eugene Laverty:
“To be honest I thought I could be racing in the 2’03s today but there was no grip, we were on ice out there. I could see Nicky and Jack ahead of me and the gap to them stayed consistent but I’d lost so much in the early laps I couldn’t get back to them. I am disappointed. So far this weekend in the cooler conditions in the morning the other guys have been fast, and then in the afternoon heat I have been faster. Unfortunately the track conditions today were completely different to the past two days and I didn’t have the same feeling at all.”
Malaysian GP – Stunning Petrux: 6th at the end of a perfect race. Yonny finishes 12th
OCTO Pramac Racing Team finishes the Shell Malaysian GP celebrating the fabulous sixth place of Danilo Petrucci, protagonist of a fantastic race. Positive news from Yonny Hernandez who gritted his teeth and took home a precious 12th after the difficulties of the last two days
Following a very good start, Petrux managed to recover three positions in the first lap before passing Bradl (3rd lap) and fighting with Aleix Espargaro for the ninth position. Danilo’s race pace have increased consistently and after 8 laps he succeded to overtake Pol Espargaro. Petrux set out to catch his brother Aleix and in one lap he managed to recover nearly a second to score the winning attack on the straight. The Spaniard tried to get back but Petrux showed a great physical condition as well as a deep concentration repelling the attack to end sixth without troubles under the checkered flag.
The start of Yonny Hernandez was rather difficult due to a contact which made him lose precious positions. The rider from Medellin turned 21th at the first corner but he managed to avoid mistakes beginning a comeback which led him to overtake Hayden to stand in fifteenth position. With six laps to go the fight won with Barbera and Bautista. Even in the last laps Yonny turned strong setting his top speed (327 km/ h, fourth top speed after Pedrosa, Dovizioso and Marrquez). Unfortunately Redding was too far away for the assault to the eleventh place.
With 10 points scored in Sepang, Danilo rises to 107 point in the World Championship ranking consolidating his ninth place.
Yonny takes 4 points which lead him to 53 in the ranking (14th place)
OCTO Pramac Racing is sixth in the team standings with 160 points.
6th – Danilo Petrucci – OCTO Pramac Racing Team #9
It was the hardest race of my career but I managed to do well and this makes me very happy. I would like to dedicate this result to the team for the work they did during the weekend and also in the whole season. The start was good and when I saw that the others in front did not go away, I decided to push. I struggled with the two Espargaro who were faster in the twisty parto of the circuit but I was stronger in breaking areas. I’m really happy with this result. Now we go to Valencia with more margin to win the Top 10 in the World Championship.
12th – Yonny Hernandez – OCTO Pramac Racing Team #68
After a difficult start, I tried to push throughout the race although the conditions were not the best. My goal was to bring home some points. This is not my the best race, but it’s nice to have won these four points. I went on the track with hard tires and it was difficult especially in braking areas as the circuit was a very slippery. I had to work a lot with the throttle to try to extend life of the rear tire for the final part of the race. And it was a good strategy.
MILLER CHALKS UP ANOTHER FINISH IN MALAYSIAN GP
LCR Honda rider Jack Miller came home in 17th position in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International circuit. Although unable to secure a points finish, the Australian produced a solid ride to ensure he saw the chequered flag at the end of a grueling race that took place in hot and humid conditions.
Having started from the sixth row of the grid, Miller battled hard throughout with his rivals in the open category and eventually finished just behind former world champion Nicky Hayden. Whilst not totally satisfied with the result, Miller was happy to see it through to the end and is now looking to sign of his rookie MotoGP season in style at Valencia.
Jack Miller #43 (17th – 41m 40.519s)
“I’m happy to finish the race today. It was very hot which made things harder and it’s always a very difficult race here in Malaysia. Of course we expected and wanted more, but it was not to be today.
“The team worked really hard all weekend to bring me the best bike possible and we tried hard, but today was not our best and we will learn from this. Now we look forward to Valencia and finishing the season as strongly as possible, both for myself and the team.”