Results and summary of the 125cc race at Sepang:
Maverick Vinales has won a tense and draining battle at Sepang to take victory ahead of Sandro Cortese and Johann Zarco. Zarco's podium, finishing ahead of Nico Terol, means the championship fight will go down to the wire, with Terol leading by 20 points.
Terol got his usual strong start, leading away from the line, but further down the field, Johann Zarco made a lightning start, determined to make up for the errors of Saturday, firing his way through the field up into 6th. Behind Terol, a small group formed, Vinales with Terol, Hector Faubel, Johann Zarco, Sandro Cortese, Efren Vazquez and Jonas Folger chasing. Vazquez and Folger slowly dropped off the back, leaving a group of five at the front to fight it out.
Terol appeared to have the race in hand for the first half of the race, while Zarco was clearly pushing as hard as he could to get close enough to his title rival to launch an attack on Terol. Vinales, who had been stalking Terol throughout, launched an attack on lap 8, and Terol appeared to get ruffled. A fascinating battle ensued, with Zarco ahead of Terol for a while, before Terol regrouped and fought his way back to the lead again. Vinales and Cortese chased Terol down again, and as Cortese poised to attack Terol, the Spaniard opened the gas just a fraction early, the first sign that his tires were paying the price in the withering tropical heat. Cortese and Vinales came past, and Zarco was right on the back of Terol once again.
Cortese attacked Vinales at the start of the final lap, but Vinales would not be denied, the Blusens rider going on to take his 3rd win of the season, holding off Cortese with relative ease. Terol's hold on 3rd looked secure, but a huge moment at the combination of Turns 5 and 6 saw him nearly highsided and run off the track, handing 3rd over to Zarco and going on to lose two places, dropping down to 5th and losing his chance to wrap up the title at Sepang.
The title chase now goes down to the final race at Valencia. Terol has to finish 11th at what is effectively his home Grand Prix to become champion, while Zarco has to win to have any chance of taking the title.
|14||Brad BINDER||APRILIA||37'04.152||2 laps|
|26||Adrian MARTIN||APRILIA||26'39.420||8 laps|
|3||Luigi MORCIANO||APRILIA||18'37.683||10 laps|
|21||Harry STAFFORD||APRILIA||18'38.099||10 laps|
|77||Marcel SCHROTTER||MAHINDRA||11'33.204||13 laps|