MotoGP > MotoGP Round 17: Malaysia GP > Race Results
MotoGPMalaysiaOctober 19, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 17
Malaysia Grand Prix at SEPANG

Pedrosa Takes Second as Dovi Visits Podium

Qualifying >>

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) won today in searing heat with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) scoring second place. His best result so far since his switch to new rubber on the pneumatic-valved RC212V. But perhaps the third position achieved by class rookie Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) was the more significant achievement.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)

Pedrosa sped off the line from pole to lead the pack into turn one with the pacy Dovizioso on his tail and Rossi holding third with Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) in fourth, Casey Stoner (Ducati) fifth and Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) sixth.

With 21-laps ahead of them it was to be expected that Dovi might fade from the rostrum positions as the race unfolded after Rossi past him on lap two but the dogged rookie showed he had the grit to hold onto his place despite the close attentions of former World Champion Hayden.

With Dovi’s close rival, Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), for the coveted ‘rookie of the season’ title falling mid-race and failing to finish, the fight for this important award will now go to the final round in Valencia next weekend.

Pedrosa and Rossi did not take long to leave Dovi, Hayden, Stoner and Nakano way behind as they fought hard for the lead. By mid-race they had pulled out a six second gap on their pursuers and it was then when Rossi pounced on Dani at the hairpin to steal the lead.

The Italian Yamaha man then outpaced the Honda ace at the head of the field as leaden skies threatened to unload rain. Occasional spots of rain fell on the far side of the track as teams prepared spare machines fitted with wet tyres, but no rider felt compelled to pit and change bikes.

The battle for third place now became the main interest as Nakano took fifth from Stoner and the Japanese veteran looked as if he might have the pace to challenge Nicky for fourth and perhaps even Dovi for the final podium place.

But it was only 2006 World Champion Hayden who could sustain the challenge to the rapid Dovi, the man who will replace the American in the factory Honda Team next season. Nicky stole third at turn one on lap 18, but Dovi had the mettle to pass him back at turn four.

Hayden then made enough of an error on the next lap to give Dovi enough breathing space to hang onto third and notch his first ever premier class podium as the rain held off and the flag came out to conclude a contest that showed just what a talent Dovi will be on works machinery in 2009.

Dovi and his crew prepared his RC212V for maximum acceleration out of the turns to match the Honda’s massive drive out of the turns with Andrea’s legendary late-breaking skills and it proved a masterful ploy.

250cc Grand Prix
Marco Simoncelli clinched his first World Championship when he finished third behind Alvaro Bautista (both Aprilia) with Hiro Aoyama (KTM) third. Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) finished in a fighting fourth place.

Simoncelli rode a controlled race resisting the urge to get involved in a fight for the win that might have jeopardized his chances of securing the points he needed to put Bautista out of the title hunt.

Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG RS250RW), who had put in a stunning performance in qualifying to head the second row of the grid made a poor start, but still managed eighth place to equal his best result so far in the class. His qualifying lap time of 2m 07.410s was the fastest ever by a Honda rider at Sepang. Quicker even than Pedrosa or Dovizioso in their prime.

125cc Grand Prix
Gabor Talmacsi won from Bradley Smith with Simone Corsi third (all Aprilia). Talmacsi headed the pack into turn one and the Hungarian former World Champion used all his pace to prevent the hard-charging Smith from getting close enough to challenge for the lead.

Smith started from 13th on the grid and made a brave bid to get on terms with Talmacsi but his fourth podium of the season had to be consolation enough for a stirring effort.
Cyril Carrillo (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) did not start the race after injuring himself in a crash during qualifying.

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)

Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd.
“It has been a busy weekend. On Friday morning we were only 17th, I think, then we started moving forward and yesterday we were able to get pole and today I finished second, so finally it has been a good weekend for me and my team. We have made another important step forward after Phillip Island where I crashed out of the race and hurt my left knee. At the end of today’s race Valentino was faster than me, he always puts on some extra pressure towards the end, so it was difficult to follow him, but we were closer this time than we were at Motegi [where Pedrosa finished third], so I am happy that we are making progress with our new bike and tyres. It has been a little bit difficult for me and my team to get used this package so late in the season, but we are getting faster every race and this is important. If we can get closer at the next race then we know we are working in a good direction. I am looking forward to Valencia next week. The Spanish crowd wants a Spanish winner, so I will do my best.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 3rd.
"Today I am happy! The first podium in MotoGP, after so much work in a season full of satisfaction: this is important for me and for my team. I wanted to give other podiums to the team but I hope that this will repay them for all the work done this year, but it is also a thanks for the seven years that we have competed together. With the Scot Team I won the world 125cc championship and we wanted to achieve something spectacular, given that next year I will be in the works HRC Repsol Honda team. The race was hard and after a good start, Valentino and Dani gained ground, while Nicky I were left behind. I led alone, focusing on myself, because I had no references in front and felt the approach of Nicky's Honda going into every turn! When I saw the group behind, I realised my situation and realized that I could not afford to make the slightest mistake. I made the most of the tyres, which in these conditions slid a lot, and I had to drive hard by picking the bike up out of the corners early. Over the last few laps I was passed by Nicky but I managed to finish ahead and finally realise my podium finish. Thanks again to everyone on my team as every one of them has always been close to me and supportive."

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 4th.
“We knew it was never going to be easy – all weekend we’ve been sixth and seventh, and with the changeable weather we were never really able to find anything set-up-wise. Then we had a bad warm-up. We tried some stuff overnight and went a bit backwards, so for the race I was quite unsure how it was going to go. We put the bike back to how it was yesterday morning, and it was okay, but I was just missing that little bit. The race honestly went better than I thought I would, it could’ve been uglier. I pushed hard, a couple of times I was able to get in front of Dovi, but he held tough. Man, he don’t give in for nothing. I enjoyed the battle, it was fun battling for the podium after the dudes up front took off early. I tried everything I could, I was pushing the front quite a lot, through Turn Three mainly. Maybe I should have tried something a little more silly on the last lap, that’s always hindsight, but sure I’ll beat myself up tonight, thinking I should have taken some bigger chances, but I was already pushing hard. Congratulations to Dovi on his first podium, he earned it.”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 5th.
“I’m satisfied with this race I got a good start and quickly moved up from fifteenth to sixth. I followed Stoner for a while and tried to pass him in several places but it wasn’t easy because he was so fast and he was braking very deep in the corners. Anyway, I soon realised that he was starting to have some issues, it looked like the front end of his bike, so I was able to make the pass and then hang on to fifth place until the end.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 10th.
“At the start I released the clutch to early and did a big wheeling losing a few positions. After the first lap I started to set my rhythm and was pretty comfortable despite the heat. I enjoyed battling with Toseland because he passed me twice and I did the same with him but at the end he crashed. Then I caught Hopkins and passed him in the fifth lap pushing hard to catch the first group. My pace was pretty fast but I took a big risk in the last corner at four laps to go and preferred to reduce the speed. In the middle of the race my right wrist started to ache a lot and was very hard for me to change directions and to brake in the corners”.

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 14th.
“I’m really disappointed with today’s race because I made a good start but I got pushed wide by Toseland, who braked really late into turn one, and a few riders were able to pass me. I got my pace together but then lost a lot of time fighting with Melandri, and in the second half of the race I struggled with the tyres and I couldn’t get back on the pace I’d been able to set in practice. It was a really tough race but I’m confident I can bounce back at Valencia and make the most of our last chance this season.”

Yuki Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 4th.
"Today felt very hot and it was really hard. Physically I was tired and the heat made the front tyre very slippery. I made a good start but then I was hampered by other riders as we swapped position. Up to half-distance, the race went well, but after the tyre began to slide I could not push more. The first three riders had gone, then it was difficult to catch up. When I was alone I managed to maintain a good pace. The result today is important and Valencia is vital for us to defend the fifth place ranking in the championship, but it is a track that I like and I will give the maximum. I want to thank the team that worked hard and prepared the bike well. "

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 8th.
“My start was bad again, not as bad a s Phillip Island but I was only 13th at the end of the first lap. The bike was really good today, very fast and I had good acceleration, I could run with anybody. I found a very good rhythm early in the race and concentrated on riding smoothly and gain positions but it was hard work. The race was fun and I really enjoyed myself today. Now we go to Valencia for the last race and I hope to keep my form.”

Cyril Carrillo, FFM Honda:
Did not start due to injuries sustained in race practice.

MotoGP World Championship Round 17
Malaysia Grand Prix at SEPANG

1 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
2 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
4 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
5 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
6 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
7 Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
8 Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha)
9 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
10 Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)
11 John HOPKINS (Kawasaki Racing Team)
12 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
13 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team)
14 Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
15 Toni ELIAS (Alice Team)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
2 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
3 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
4 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)
5 Aleix ESPARGARO (Lotus Aprilia)
6 Alex DEBON (Lotus Aprilia)
7 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
8 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
9 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
10 Lukas PESEK (Auto Kelly - CP)
11 Fabrizio LAI (Campetella Racing)
12 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
13 Alex BALDOLINI (Matteoni Racing)
14 Simone GROTZKYJ (Campetella Racing)
15 Imre TOTH (Team Toth Aprilia)
1 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar Team)
2 Bradley SMITH (Polaris World)
3 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones WRB)
4 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
5 Mike DI MEGLIO (Ajo Motorsport)
6 Pol ESPARGARO (Belson Derbi)
7 Joan OLIVE (Belson Derbi)
8 Dominique AEGERTER (Ajo Motorsport)
9 Nicolas TEROL (Jack & Jones WRB)
10 Andrea IANNONE (I.C. Team)
11 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 125)
12 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar Team)
13 Lorenzo ZANETTI (ISPA KTM Aran)
14 Pablo NIETO (Onde 2000 KTM)
15 Adrian MARTIN (Bancaja Aspar Team)

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