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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012

Round 16: Malaysia

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
October 21, 2012

Pedrosa Wins in Tropical Downpour, Stoner Takes Third

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) won a shortened Malaysian Grand Prix in thunderous, rain-lashed conditions at Sepang this afternoon.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
(Repsol Honda Team)
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
(Repsol Honda Team)

The result was his third consecutive victory and reduces the advantage of World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) to 23 points with two races remaining. Team-mate Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) finished third in his second race since returning from injury.

Pedrosa’s win gave the Spaniard his first premier-class hat-trick and continues a remarkable run of form that has seen him win four of the last five rounds aboard his Honda RC213V. It was also his sixth success of the year and his first victory in the rain.

The race got underway on a wet track, with steady raining falling, following earlier downpours that had seen the Moto2 race delayed due to a flooded track. About halfway through the 20-lap MotoGP race the rain intensified, triggering a rash of crashes, including Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) who had been going well in sixth place.

Bradl, like all the other fallers, was not hurt, but by now conditions were rapidly worsening and there was standing water in several areas. Halfway through lap 14 the Race Director stopped the race, counting the results from lap 13. But because two-thirds race distance had not been completed, Race Direction considered a restart, until it was decided that conditions were too dangerous.

Pedrosa started well from second on the grid, while Lorenzo charged into the lead. Within a couple of laps Pedrosa was on the back wheel of his compatriot and getting into his rhythm. At half-distance he out-braked Lorenzo into the final turn and quickly built a gap, then controlled his RCV brilliantly as the conditions became increasingly treacherous. Four laps later the race was red-flagged. By then six of the 20 starters had crashed out.

Stoner only came back from injury at Motegi last weekend, so the Australian was delighted to score his first podium since he won July’s US GP. With his right ankle still healing, he had considered not racing because it’s so easy to fall in the rain and because he didn’t want to risk putting himself out for the rest of his final season.

During the early laps Stoner was at the head of the pack fighting over third, then he steadily established himself in that position before starting to close on Lorenzo when the rain got heavier. Had the race gone full distance he was sure he could have passed Lorenzo and challenged for the win.

The Repsol Honda Team riders’ double podium secured the MotoGP team championship for the second consecutive year. Honda still have the chance to add the constructors’ and riders’ titles in the final two races of the year.

Bradl was running strongly in sixth, just behind Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) and just ahead of Valentino Rossi (Ducati) when he ran into engine-braking issues. The rookie adjusted the engine-braking map on his RCV but continued to struggle, then fell at the extra-slippery turn seven which had already claimed three other riders.

Like most riders, Bautista believes that Race Direction made the right call to stop the race when they did, because the track was “like a river”. The Spaniard rode well in spite of some issues on the bumps while braking.

Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) was third CRT rider home, finishing in 12th spot. The rain was a disappointment for the Italian who had make good progress on his bike during morning warm-up and was confident of a strong showing in the dry. He crossed the line just a fraction of a second behind Danilo Petrucci (Suter BMW).

Alex De Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR) won the shortened Moto2 race, also run in challenging, ever-changing conditions. The Honda-powered event started late after a torrential downpour that hit the track after the opening Moto3 event. During the early stages of the Moto2 race the track was soaking in some parts, almost dry in others, but the heavens opened once again during the closing stages, forcing the Race Director to bring out the red flags.

The race was a thriller, with de Angelis fighting for much of the 15 laps with the local wild card and two riders who always shine in rainy conditions. Local hero Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia – FTR) was the surprise of the race, while Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team – Speed Up) and Gino Rea (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 – Suter) are well known for their wet-weather prowess.

Syahrin, who had qualified 27th in the dry, led for several laps. His riding brought the crowd to its feet but in the end he could not quite stay with the other three and had to be content with a close fourth-place finish. Nonetheless the result was an impressive achievement for the 18-year-old Malaysian who usually rides in the Spanish CEV Moto2 series. This was Syahrin’s second GP ride, following his World Championship debut in last year’s Malaysian Moto2 race.

De Angelis really got his head down when the rain came back in earnest, opening a two-second lead. But that was quickly swallowed up by Rea and West, Rea sliding into the lead at the end of lap 16. Moments later the red flags were displayed and the result was taken back a lap to lap 15, because some riders had not completed lap 16 when the red flags came out. That made de Angelis the winner, just ahead of West and Rea.

Julian Simon (Blusens Avintia – Suter) was fifth, a few seconds down on Syahrin after Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter) had slid off as the rain returned. The Swiss was one of many fallers, including World Championship leader Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter) who was on course to secure the 2012 world title until he fell on lap 13. Marquez had been riding with Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up), who slid off and remounted to finish sixth.

Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex), Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing – Tech 3), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP Suter) and Esteve Rabat (Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex) completed the top ten.

Marquez’s championship rival Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex) could only manage 11th at the finish, but that result was enough to keep his title hopes alive for another race.

Sandro Cortese (KTM) secured the first-ever Moto3 World Championship with a thrilling last-corner victory over local hero Zulfahmi Khairuddin (KTM) in the day’s opening race.

Honda’s top finisher was Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda) who spent much of the race – run in the dry but with a few spots of rain – involved in an entertaining battle with team-mate Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda) and KTM riders Luis Salom and Danny Kent. Oliveira crossed the line in fifth place, 0.171s behind Salom and just ahead of Kent. Rins dropped back from the group in the final laps to finish seventh.

Efren Vazquez (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda) started superbly from the third row of the grid to hold third place at the end of the first lap. However, the Spaniard couldn’t maintain that front-running pace and slipped back to finish the race in a lonely eighth position.

Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany – FTR Honda) had high hopes of a great race after qualifying just off the front row of the grid. The Frenchman started brilliantly, fighting for third place until he slid off on lap six.

Adrian Martin (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda) completed the top ten, after a frantic skirmish with half a dozen rivals.

The MotoGP circus now continues its Asian-Pacific adventure and heads to Australia for next weekend’s penultimate Grand Prix at Phillip Island. The season concludes back in Europe, at Valencia, on November 11.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Casey Stoner
(Repsol Honda Team)
Alvaro BAUTISTA (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)zoom
(Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)


Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: race winner
“This victory is really amazing for me. It’s the first time I’ve won in the wet in my life and I’m really, really happy. I want to thank my team and the people who helped me to get here because when I started racing in these conditions I was weak and they know how difficult it’s been during all this time! Jorge set a really high pace at the beginning of the race and I remained calm to stay with him. I knew he was on a soft rear tyre and he could pull out some good laps at the start. Lap by lap I got a little more confident and I could still push and at half way in the race I overtook him and built a good gap. Some laps later the rain came down heavy and it was hard to stay on the bike. I was lucky to be able to win this race, and also Jorge to finish second because he was almost on the ground. So, I’m happy for the victory, but especially happy to be able to dedicate it to Ginés [Guirado], a good friend and member of the Repsol Honda Team that sadly passed away yesterday. This one is for you!”
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: 3rd
“At the start of the race, I would have been very happy for a podium. I was considering not taking part in the rain at all as the risks were very high – if I had come off the bike again and hit my ankle, it would have been game over for the rest of the season. As the race progressed I slowly got my confidence back and I was working on different things as I hadn’t ridden in the wet in quite some time. I slowly began to catch the front two, but unfortunately ran out of time as the red flagged the race. In a lot of ways I’m disappointed, but I’m happy with the points haul we took today and another podium.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 6th
“Racing in these conditions is always a lottery. It was raining at the start, but not too much and I was able to ride well, with confidence in the bike. The only problem was under braking and I had trouble trying to control the bike over the bumps. I was close to crashing but I tried to adapt as best I could. Towards the end, the track was like a river and I was aquaplaning down the straight. It was the right call to stop the race. I am happy because we improved our feeling with the bike in the wet but we still need to work on our chatter problems.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 12th
“I am disappointed because we found a good solution for our chatter problems this morning and the race was looking good, especially for the second half. I felt we had a chance to fight to be the top CRT. Then the rain came and ruined everything for us because we still have so much work to do with this bike in the wet. Anyway, we fought hard and could have still fought to be the top CRT if the red flags came later because I was the only one with the hard rear tyre. Now we want to hang on to third place in the CRT standings. I want to thank the team for their efforts here. I wanted a better result to dedicate to Marco, but it will have to be next time.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: DNF
“First of all we must check the data to understand what happened. I took a very good start from eighth place, but it was pretty tough out there because of the wet and slippery surface. But I could lap with a good pace and constant speed but after some laps I had to change the map because we had too much engine-braking. Since that moment something changed and the engine was pushing me in the corner entries and I lost two positions because I did not know what was going on. After that I came back to the standard engine-brake setting, but it was too much in those difficult conditions and I started to be slower. In the heavy rain I was more careful but suddenly I lost the rear and crashed out. I do not think it was completely my fault and I feel sorry for me and the team.”


Alex De Angelis, NGM Mobile Forward Racing: race winner
The conditions were so crazy; they were changing all the time. I made a very good first lap, making a lot of overtakes, then I chose fourth position to control the other riders. The bike was perfect – could brake very quickly, open the gas very quickly and change my line whenever I wanted. I’m very happy because this year has been difficult for us. My thanks to my sponsors and the team – we will keep pushing hard. It’s been one year now [since the passing of Marco Simoncelli], so ciao Marco!”
Anthony West, QMMF Racing Team: 2nd
“It’s been a while since we’ve been on the podium, that’s for sure. There’s been a few chances in the past which I’ve missed, so it’s good to be back near the front. In fact I need more experience at the front because I came charging through at start and got into third or fourth really quickly. Then I relaxed too much, and Alex and Rea were putting in a good pace. The conditions were so difficult. It was really hard – in some parts of the track I was quicker and some parts I wasn’t. Then I made a few mistakes at the end – the conditions were crazy. I really have to thank my team because I didn’t think I’d be racing this year at all, and here we are on the podium. I’m glad to repay them with a result.”
Gino Rea, Federal Oil Gresini Moto2: 3rd
“I got into the lead and that’s when the red flags came out, so it was frustrating, but at least I got my first GP podium. My first year in Moto2 has been a difficult – we haven’t quite been able to get the bike working in dry. In the wet it levels things a bit, so I can ride like a want. I’ve got a good feel for the bike and I can try and make things work. I got a pretty good start. The first few corners and laps were pretty hairy, but once I got to the front I felt pretty comfortable. I had a couple of moments, then when the track started to dry I struggled and a few guys came past. I prayed for more rain and when it did rain I came back to front and started to get a good feeling. It was tricky conditions towards the end. Now I’d like to thanks everyone who got me here into Moto2.”


Miguel Oliveira, Estrella Galicia 0.0: 5th
“It was a very difficult race. Keeping up with the leading KTMs was really difficult because on the first lap they opened a gap that we could not recover later. Physically it was one of the toughest races I’ve ridden. When it started raining I felt comfortable and confident, thinking I could approach the front group. It’s been a hard day, but I’m satisfied with the result and I hope to continue our progress at Phillip Island.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0.0: 7th
“The race was very tough and demanding. We started well, pushing hard and trying to get with the front group. When [Danny] Kent was behind we touched coming out of a corner, and there was nothing I could do about him getting past me. But I’m happy with my race because this weekend has been extremely challenging physically.”
Efren Vazquez, JHK T-Shirt Laglisse: 8th
“That was a tough race! I made a good start and I was very close to the front at the end of the first lap, but then I started to have a few issues with the front end and I almost fell. That made me lose many positions and also some concentration which opened a gap that I was unable to recover.”
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) & Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) & Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 16: Malaysia

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3 Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
5 Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
7 Hector BARBERA (Pramac Racing Team)
8 Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
9 James ELLISON (Paul Bird Motorsport)
10 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
11 Danilo PETRUCCI (Came IodaRacing Project)
12 Michele PIRRO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
13 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
2 Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)
3 Gino REA (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
4 Hafizh SYAHRIN (Petronas Raceline Malaysia)
5 Julian SIMON (Blusens Avintia)
6 Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
7 Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
8 Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)
9 Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
10 Esteve RABAT (Tuenti Movil HP 40)
11 Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti Movil HP 40)
12 Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
13 Toni ELIAS (Italtrans Racing Team)
14 Axel PONS (Tuenti Movil HP 40)
15 Ricard CARDUS (Arguinano Racing Team)
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2 Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)
3 Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
4 Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
5 Miguel OLIVEIRA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
6 Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
7 Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
8 Efren VAZQUEZ (JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
9 Niklas AJO (TT Motion Events Racing)
10 Adrian MARTIN (JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
11 Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
12 Brad BINDER (RW Racing GP)
13 Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology)
14 Alex MARQUEZ (Ambrogio Next Racing)
15 Niccolo` ANTONELLI (San Carlo Gresini Moto3

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