Sepang, Malaysia

2017 Sepang MotoGP FP3: Rossi Is One By Undercutting Two

Valentino Rossi seized the top spot in FP3 when he became the only rider to drop into a sub, two-minute laptime at the Sepang circuit Saturday. Rossi's set his 1'59.947 -- the weekend's fastest time by any rider -- with no time left in the third practice. Johann Zarco, who led much of the session, was bumped into second by the Italian's final lap. Dani Pedrosa jumped from 11th into third near the end of practice as riders began switching to the soft-option rear tire in an attempt to ensure a top-10 finish.

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2017 Sepang Moto3 FP3: Martin, Weather Both Heat Up

Jorge Martin took advantage of a rapidly drying track to take the top time in FP3 Saturday at the Sepang circuit Sunday as riders began to set their fastest times of the weekend. Martin's 2'15.606 put him four-tenths of a second ahead of the number two finisher Juanfran Guevara.  Newly crowned World Champion Joan Mir seized third as the day began heating up. 

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2017 Sepang Friday MotoGP Round Up: A Phony War In Mixed Conditions

If there is one thing clear from Friday at Sepang, it is that neither Andrea Dovizioso nor Marc Márquez believe the 2017 championship is done. The two men left in the title fight came out punching, chasing fast times just that little bit harder than the rest. Dovizioso topped both morning and afternoon sessions, blatant about his intentions to make a final bid for the championship. Márquez was a little slower in the mixed-but-drying conditions of FP1, but only half a second behind Dovizioso in a wet FP2. Márquez will give as hard as he gets.

The headline times are deceptive, though, as were the conditions. The morning session started with a track that would not dry fast enough – a persistent problem since the track was resurfaced, and an issue with drainage in certain sections of the track – and riders choosing to sit out the first third or so of FP1. Even once the riders took to the track in earnest, times were variable. It was only towards the end where track was dry enough to start to post quick times.

In the dry, Márquez focused on pace, putting in a single long run, while Andrea Dovizioso got on with setup work, ending FP1 at the top of the timesheets, just ahead of Alvaro Bautista. "I’m really happy about the lap time I did this morning," Dovizioso said. "It was quite fast but the conditions were strange. There was not a lot of rubber on the ground so it wasn’t normal. Anyway, this was the condition for the other riders. We did a good lap time. I was first."

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Stefan Kiefer, Boss Of Kiefer Racing, Dies Suddenly In Malaysia

News reached us that Kiefer Racing team boss Stefan Kiefer died in his sleep on Thursday night in Malaysia. As a result of his death, the Kiefer Racing team have decided to withdraw from the Sepang round of Moto2 this weekend. Neither Dominique Aegerter nor Tarran Mackenzie will race in Malaysia.

Our thoughts are with Stefan's friends and family, and with the Kiefer Racing team.

The press release issued by the team is below:


KIEFER RACING MOURNS FOR THE LOSS OF STEFAN KIEFER

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2017 Sepang Moto2 FP2: Marquez Masters Mixed Conditions

Alex Marquez appears ready to prove that his recent win in the wet at Motegi was no fluke. On a wet Sepang track with intermittent rainfall, the Spaniard topped the timesheet and ran consistently fast times throughout the second Friday session. Lorenzo Baldasarri (2nd) finished his day just two-hundredths behind the leader with FP1 leader Miguel Oliveira taking third.

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2017 Sepang MotoGP FP2: Dovizioso fastest, wet or dry

Andrea Dovizioso again led practice at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia Friday with a dominant showing on the wet, 5.5 km track. Dovizioso's 2'11.640 left him a half a second clear of championship rival and points leader Marc Marquez (2nd). Jorge Lorenzo seized the third-fastest time -- a mark that still left him a full second off his Ducati teammate's pace. Dovizioso must finish the race a minimum of nine points clear of Marquez to keep the championship fight alive for the season's final round in three weeks. 

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2017 Sepang Moto3 FP2: Canet A Threat In The Wet

Aron Canet dominated a wet Moto3 FP2 Friday at the Sepang circuit with a 2'28.807 lap that put him more than half a second up on the field. More worriesome for the rest of the paddock should the rain continue through the weekend was Canet's consistent top pace in the wet track through the entire session.

Very little separated Bo Bendsneyder (2nd) and Nicolo Bulega (3rd) for the next two spots as rain fell for much of the session. Niccolo Antonelli completed FP2 seven-tenths off the top pace, closely chased by Enea Bastianini (5th). Adam Norrodin at sixth was one of two Malaysians in the top 10 at their home track. John McPhee, who crashed late, still managed seventh. 

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2017 Sepang Moto2 FP1: Oliveira Jumps To The Top

Miguel Oliveira just nipped World Championship points leader Franco Morbidelli to lead FP1 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia Friday. Championship contender Thomas Luthi stayed in the hunt with a third-best 2'06.950, less than a tenth from the top spot. The top three riders in the first practice session -- who also are the top three riders in the standings -- were separated by less than a tenth of a second.  

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2017 Sepang MotoGP FP1: Dovizioso Strikes Back

Andrea Dovizioso set the fastest time in FP1 with a 2'00.671 in damp-to-drying conditions at the Sepang circuit Friday in Malaysia. Alvaro Bautista, who was quick all session in the heat and humidity, earned the second-fastest Ducati lap, just in front of Yamaha's Johann Zarco (3rd). Dovizioso, who finished 13th last week at Phillip Island, must beat Marc Marquez by at least nine points to keep the championship fight alive for the 18th and final round in Valencia. Points-leader Marquez won last week's race in Australia and now leads the championship by 33 points with two races to go. 

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2017 Sepang Moto3 FP1: The Champion Sets The Pace

Newly crowned Moto3 champion Joan Mir grabbed the top time in the first practice Friday at the Sepang curcuit in Malaysia with a 2'13.129 lap with two minutes left in the session. Adam Norrodin, in his home race, set the second-best time at the session's end. The Malaysian bumped Livio Loi to third. Loi, who remains without a contract for 2018, briefly led the dry session. Romano Fenati, who won in Motegi three weeks ago, took fourth, just in front of Enea Bastinini (5th), completing a Honda sweep of the top five slots.   

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