Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Sepang:
Dani Pedrosa has taken an utterly dominant win at Sepang, leading from the start and slowly edging away from the field to victory. But Pedrosa's second win of the season was overshadowed by an ugly clash between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez, which resulted in Marquez crashing out.
Pedrosa got into the first corner in the lead, Repsol Honda teammate Marc Marquez slotting in behind him, while Valentino Rossi settled into third. Jorge Lorenzo had an unusually poor start, finding himself stuck behind the two Ducatis, both Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone getting into Turn 1 ahead of him. Their advantage would not last long, Lorenzo making a brilliant pass into Turn 4 to dive underneath the pair of them into 4th.
Lorenzo was on a charge, while Marquez was struggling. Lorenzo caught Rossi by the end of the first lap, then disposed of him clinically with a pass into Turn 1. Rossi pushed hard to get straight back, but couldn't hold it, and latched onto Lorenzo's tail instead. Marquez was starting to drop back from his teammate, unable to match the pace of Pedrosa, and was falling back into the clutches of the oncoming Yamahas. Marquez was having problems with both front and rear grip, running wide in several places. When he ran wide at Turn 4, Lorenzo did not need another invitation, and quickly slid through to take second and try to hunt Pedrosa down.
Lorenzo may have gotten through, but Marquez was not about to let Valentino Rossi through after the accusations Rossi had made on Thursday. Whether Marquez had been trying to hold up Rossi at Phillip Island may still be open to interpretation, but it certainly wasn't at Sepang. The two swapped paint - quite literally - for three laps, before Rossi decided he had had enough. The Italian pushed Marquez wide at Turn 14, looked over at the Spaniard twice, and the two came together, resulting in Marc Marquez crashing out of the race. After the race, Valetino Rossi was handed a three-point penalty, and he will start from the back of the grid at Valencia, having collected four points in total, after getting a point at Misano.
Lorenzo may have passed Marquez, but there was no way he was going to catch Pedrosa. Pedrosa went on to take an unquestioned victory, while Lorenzo cruised home in second. Valentino Rossi, perhaps uncertain of his fate, pushed on, but could make no impression on Lorenzo, losing ground and finishing in third.
There was plenty of drama behind the leaders, though not quite of the same order of magnitude. Andrea Iannone came to a halt on the Ducati, the GP15 suffering another technical issue. Andrea Dovizioso was doing well in 4th, until he tangled with Cal Crutchlow and fell. Crutchlow was reeled in and caught by Bradley Smith, the Tech 3 rider putting in a strong ride to consolidate his lead over Dovizioso in the championship.
This result cuts Valentino Rossi's lead in the championship to just 7 points, with Rossi to start from the back of the grid at the next race.
|14||24||Toni Elias||Yamaha Forward||53.619|
|18||63||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||+1'05.075|
|4||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||10 Laps|
|93||Marc Marquez||Honda||13 Laps|
|76||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||18 Laps|
|29||Andrea Iannone||Ducati||19 Laps|
|Not Finished 1st Lap|
|55||Damian Cudlin||ART||0 Lap|
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