MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) shrugged off lingering pain from his recent Aragon crash to score a convincing victory in today’s Malaysian GP, run in gruelling tropical heat. The former 250 and 125 World Champion was followed home by team-mate Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V), who once again increased his World Championship lead over Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) who finished third today.
Pedrosa – who also won here last year – finished the race 2.7 seconds ahead of Marquez to record his third victory of the season. The result gave the Repsol Honda team its fifth one-two finish of the season, following similarly impressive performances at Austin, Jerez, Indianapolis and Brno. The result increases Honda’s lead in the constructors’ title race and Repsol Honda’s lead in the team championship.
Starting from the second row of the grid, Pedrosa grabbed the lead from Lorenzo on lap five and was soon clear of the entertaining battle that raged behind him, with Lorenzo and pole-sitter Marquez swapping positions time and again before half distance. At one point the Yamaha rider made contact with the reigning Moto2 World Champion – who had set a new lap record on lap two – but their fight continued unabated until Marquez went inside his rival at Turn 14 on the ninth lap. From that moment on, Marquez had only the brilliant Pedrosa ahead, but he had lost too much time fighting back and forth with Lorenzo and soon realized that chasing his team-mate would entail taking too many risks. He knew full well that all he really needed to do was increase his points advantage over the reigning champ, which he duly did.
With 15 rounds gone and three to go, the remarkable 20-year-old rookie leads Lorenzo by 43 points. If he does go on to win the title, he will be the youngest crowned king of the elite class in the 65 year history of the sport.
After his third win of the season, Pedrosa sits just 11 points behind Lorenzo. Without the Aragon crash – which wasn’t his fault – he would still be very much in contention for the World Championship.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) enjoyed a thrilling duel for fifth place with Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha), which went his way in the final few laps. In the early stages he had run with the lead group, but after running wide he lost touch and that allowed Crutchlow to catch and pass him. However, Bautista had the speed when it mattered most.
Australian rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) finished 18th, three places out of the points, and is looking forward to going to Phillip Island, a track he knows well.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) missed today’s race after what should have been an uncomplicated low-side crash during yesterday’s final practice session. The German lost the front into Turn One and caught his right foot on some trackside carpet, which fractured the ankle. He underwent surgery in Kuala Lumpur last night and has yet to decide whether he will be able to race at Phillip Island next weekend.
Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) stormed to a brilliant win in the Honda-powered Moto2 race to strengthen his outside challenge for the World Championship. The Spaniard started from pole position and quickly made the shortened race – which had been stopped and restarted after a lap one pile-up – all his own. During the 12 laps no one got close to Rabat – who last won a race at Indy in August – and he took the checkered flag 1.5 seconds ahead of team-mate Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) who won a tense duel for second place with Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter).
Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) came through to fourth at the finish after getting the better of Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) in the closing stages. The Finn was just 0.6 seconds off the podium.
World Championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) had another difficult weekend, qualifying on the fourth row and finishing in seventh place after Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter) had passed him at the final corner.
It might have been a different story without the first-lap accident. Redding had made a stunning start from row four to take fourth place at only the second corner, only for the red flags to come out moments later. He was unable to repeat the feat in the restart. With three races remaining, the Briton leads Espargaro by nine points.
None of the five riders involved in the pile-up was seriously hurt.
Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) rode a heroic Moto3 race, fighting his way into the lead pack to cross the line just one second behind race winner and series leader Luis Salom (KTM). Miller spent the last few laps in the thick of the lead group of six riders and passed two of them on the final lap, but he didn’t quite have the speed to hold them off and so finished the race in sixth spot. It was another impressive display from the Australian teenager who now travels to Phillip Island for his home race.
Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) also ran with the leaders in the early stages. After qualifying brilliantly to put himself on the front row, he led the charge away from the grid, then used his impressive late braking and corner speed to stay with the frontrunners. However, from mid-race he was troubled by vision problems – possibly the result of an old injury – and although he tried to keep pushing he had to ease his pace slightly and dropped back to lead the second group over the finish line in seventh place.
Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) enjoyed a stirring ride through the pack, from 19th at the end of the first lap all the way to ninth, just over a second behind Masbou. Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) was the final Honda rider in the points, the Spaniard finishing 14th.
Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda) was running in the top ten after qualifying on the front row of the grid, only to tumble shortly before half-distance.
The MotoGP paddock now continues its eastern tour, immediately heading south to Phillip Island for next Sunday’s Australian GP. The quick-fire action continues with the Japanese GP on October 27, before the circus returns to Europe for the Valencia GP season finale in Spain on November 10.
|1||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|3||Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|4||Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|5||Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)|
|6||Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|7||Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|8||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|9||Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|10||Yonny HERNANDEZ (Ignite Pramac Racing)|
|11||Hiroshi AOYAMA (Avintia Blusens)|
|12||Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|13||Claudio CORTI (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|14||Hector BARBERA (Avintia Blusens)|
|15||Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|1||Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)|
|2||Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40)|
|3||Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing)|
|4||Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|5||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)|
|6||Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)|
|7||Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|8||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|9||Jordi TORRES (Aspar Team Moto2)|
|10||Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|11||Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)|
|12||Danny KENT (Tech 3)|
|13||Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)|
|14||Ricard CARDUS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|15||Marcel SCHROTTER (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team)|
|1||Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|2||Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|3||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)|
|4||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|5||Maverick VIÑALES (Team Calvo)|
|6||Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology - RTG)|
|7||Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)|
|8||Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|9||Romano FENATI (San Carlo Team Italia)|
|10||Philipp OETTL (Tec Interwetten Moto3 Racing)|
|11||Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)|
|12||Niklas AJO (Avant Tecno)|
|13||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox RW Racing GP)|
|14||Isaac VIÑALES (Ongetta-Centro Seta)|
|15||Ana CARRASCO (Team Calvo)|