Updated: Pedrosa returns to winning ways in Malaysia, Marquez is closer than ever to the Title.
With four races to go in 2013, Sepang marked the first event of a triple-header which next weekend takes the MotoGP™ fraternity to Australia, before racing in Japan on the final weekend of the month. Saturday saw Marquez storm to a fourth consecutive pole position as the newcomer attempted to edge ever closer to an historic title win. Pedrosa¢s victory came as his first for almost five months, having not stood atop the podium since Le Mans in mid-May.
He narrowly missed out on taking the lead as Lorenzo swept through at the start, but overhauled the Mallorcan at the end of the first lap. As Lorenzo became involved in an intense battle with Marquez, who finally made the move stick at Turn 14 with just over 11 laps to go, Pedrosa extended his advantage to pick up a second successive victory on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
Marquez waves goodbye to Lorenzo!
The result means all three of the rostrum finishers retain mathematical possibilities of clinching the World Championship, although Marquez is the only rider who could claim the title at Phillip Island next weekend. Should he do so, the 20-year-old Catalan would become the first rookie premier class title winner for 35 years.
Outside of the top three at Sepang, multiple winner Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing) experienced a somewhat lonely ride to fourth spot as Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) came out on top in a battle with Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech3); the Spaniard now moves up to sixth place in the Riders¢ Championship, ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP¢s Stefan Bradl who was forced to miss the race because of a broken ankle yesterday. Tech3¢s Bradley Smith and Ducati Team¢s Andrea Dovizioso were seventh and eighth, ahead of lead CRT runner Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics Aspar) and Yonny Hernandez (Ignite Pramac Racing). Round 16 of 18, the Tissot Australian Grand Prix, will take place next weekend as Marc Marquez attempts to become the youngest ever MotoGP™ World Champion.
SHELL ADVANCE MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GP MotoGP Race Classification 2013
Sepang, Sunday, October 13, 2013 Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 163.3 40'45.191
2 20 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 163.1 +2.757
3 16 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 162.9 +6.669
4 13 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 162.6 +10.351
5 11 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 161.8 +22.149
6 10 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 161.8 +22.301
7 9 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 161.3 +30.864
8 8 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 160.4 +45.111
9 7 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 159.4 +59.264
10 6 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 159.3 +1'01.417
A huge crash in Moto2
Eighth pole for Marquez in exhilarating Malaysian qualifying
Marc Marquez will start from a fourth consecutive MotoGP™ pole position for the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Multiple Sepang winner Valentino Rossi lines up second from Britain¢s Cal Crutchlow, with title contenders Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa on the second row of the grid. Having crashed out in dramatic fashion at MotorLand Aragón, it was Pedrosa who topped the first three practice sessions at the Sepang International Circuit.
However, when it came to qualifying, the 2012 race winner was unable to muster anything other than fifth place, six tenths of a second down on Marquez¢s 2¢00.011 pole which breaks Casey Stoner¢s record of six years ago. This marks Marquez¢s eighth pole of 2013, his fourth in succession and fifth from the latest six race events. Rain had hit just before Qualifying 2, yet had dried out in most places of the track for slicks to be a viable option. However, riders were initially cautious, with many avoiding near crashes at Turn 6, which was still damp.
In a repeat of the German GP front row, albeit with the second and third-placed riders reversed, Rossi and Crutchlow will start second and third for their respective Yamaha Factory Racing and Monster Yamaha Tech3 outfits. In the case of the nine-time World Champion, he provisionally held pole position after enjoying a slipstream from Ducati Team¢s Andrea Dovizioso down the back straight, whereas Crutchlow celebrates a first front row start since his home race at Silverstone last month. Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing), who won his first MotoGP™ title at Sepang in 2010, will start fourth after missing out on pole by half a second.
Behind the reigning World Champion, Marquez¢s teammate Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) misses the front row despite his rapid pace throughout practice, while the championship contenders will be accompanied on Row 2 by Alvaro Bautista. LCR Honda MotoGP¢s Stefan Bradl was put out of action after suffering a right ankle fracture through a crash in final practice. Row 3 will consist of Tech3¢s Bradley Smith, Dovizioso and leading CRT runner Aleix Espargaro. Andrea Iannone rounds out the top ten.
Pedrosa lays down the law as Malaysian GP gets underway
Dani Pedrosa was just two tenths of a second off Jorge Lorenzo¢s fastest ever lap of Sepang as the Repsol Honda Team rider upped the pace on Friday afternoon at the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix. The 2012 winner topped the second practice session from teammate Marc Marquez and Monster Yamaha Tech3¢s Cal Crutchlow, with Lorenzo fifth quickest for Yamaha Factory Racing.
SHELL ADVANCE MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GP MotoGP Qualifying Nr. 2 Classification 2013
Sepang, Saturday, October 12, 2013 Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 327.5 2'00.011
2 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 323.2 2'00.336 0.325 / 0.325 3 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech
3 Yamaha 320.9 2'00.359 0.348 / 0.023
4 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 322.2 2'00.578 0.567 / 0.219
5 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 324.2 2'00.692 0.681 / 0.114
6 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 323.7 2'00.974 0.963 / 0.282
7 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 319.2 2'01.306 1.295 / 0.332
8 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 318.9 2'01.635 1.624 / 0.329
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 273.1 2'02.151 2.140 / 0.516
10 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 317.6 2'02.536 2.525 / 0.385
As the premier class escaped the rain that did fall at the Sepang International Circuit on Friday, Pedrosa – already fastest in the morning – raised the bar to 2¢00.554, half a second quicker than teammate Marquez. Crutchlow made the top three, despite suffering from pain in his right forearm from the big crash at Silverstone – he has stated that it will need an operation, though could not confirm when.
Yamaha Factory Racing¢s Valentino Rossi was marginally behind in fourth after finding a significantly better set-up in the afternoon session, though feels he can improve tomorrow. GO&FUN Honda Gresini¢s Alvaro Bautista set a good pace before crashing at Turn 4, fortunately walking away unscathed. He had been testing a new Showa rear shock, which he has given positive feedback so far.
Lorenzo, who was sixth in the afternoon, was in fact fifth fastest when taking into account the combined timesheet, though suffered what he described as one of his most difficult days this year, as both engine braking and rear grip issues hindered his progress.
SHELL ADVANCE MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GP MotoGP Free Practice Nr. 2 Classification 2013
Sepang, Friday, October 11, 2013
Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 326.9 2'00.554
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 325.7 2'01.087 0.533 / 0.533
3 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 319.7 2'01.423 0.869 / 0.336
4 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 322.4 2'01.538 0.984 / 0.115
5 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 322.2 2'01.659 1.105 / 0.121
6 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 322.4 2'01.710 1.156 / 0.051
7 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 325.1 2'01.727 1.173 / 0.017
8 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 321.6 2'02.373 1.819 / 0.646
9 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 319.4 2'02.487 1.933 / 0.114
10 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 317.7 2'02.551 1.997 / 0.064