2016 Sepang MotoGP Race Result: A Season On Crowd Nine

Andrea Dovizioso came out on top from a race-long battle with Valentino Rossi at the Sepang International Circuit Sunday to win his first race of the year and become the ninth different winner of the 2016 MotoGP season. The win, the second of Dovizioso's career, moved him into fifth in the championship with one race remaining. 

Valentino Rossi, who faded to second with late-race, rain-tire problems, locked up runner-up in the championship over teammate Jorge Lorenzo (3rd). The Spaniard, who climbed toward the podium during the race as riders in front of him crashed -- Marc Marquez, Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Ianonne among them -- increased his hold on third place in the championship with his podium finish.

Hector Barbara's fourth was the satellite Ducati rider's best MotoGP finish. Teammate Loris Baz's fifth was his second top-10 finish in 2016. Maverick Vinales came in sixth and as the top Suzuki after teammate Aleix Espargaro crashed. (He would remount to finish 13th.) Alvaro Bautista (7th) had another strong showing on the Aprilia, beating Jack Miller (8th) by seven seconds. Pol Espargaro (9th) and Danilo Petrucci (10th) completed the top 10.

Initially, the contest was delayed for 30 minutes and then declared a wet race after a downpour soaked the 5.5 km (3.4 mi.) track. Lorenzo got the holeshot and held it for several corners before getting swallowed up by the charging pack. By the end of lap one, it was Andrea Iannone, Rossi, Dovizioso, Marquez, Lorenzo and Crutchlow. The race settled into a brief rhythm.

With 15 laps to go, Crutchlow stepped up his pace and began to clock the race's fastest laps. He moved past Lorenzo and into fifth. Rossi and Iannone swapped places a handful of times. Crutchlow continued to quicken and began to challenge Marquez. Dovizioso also began picking up speed.

With 10 laps remaining, Ianonne still held the lead with Rossi challenging. Marquez then began to push. The Spanish rider had chosen to use carbon disc brakes -- most riders chose cooler-operating steel for the rain -- and it appeared the brakes had finally gotten to the correct temperature, allowing Marquez to brake deeper. His lap times dropped. Crutchlow crashed trying to keep up.

But two laps later, Marquez too went down at Turn 11. He remounted and finished the race and climbed to 11th by the end. At the front, it was now Rossi, Dovizioso and Iannone who was now falling back. With seven laps to go Iannone crashed, leaving Rossi and Dovizioso at the front and Lorenzo in a distant third. But with five laps remaining in the race, Rossi ran wide at Turn 1.

Dovizioso cut inside and into the lead for good. Rossi immediately fell off the pace with Dovizioso stretching his lead to four seconds within a single lap. He would go on to win by three seconds. Dovizioso's last win was at Donnington Park in 2009 on a Honda.


Pos. No. Rider Bike Time / Diff. 
1 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 42'27.333
2 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 3.115
3 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 11.924
4 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 19.916
5 76 Loris BAZ Ducati 21.353
6 25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki 22.932
7 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia 25.829
8 43 Jack MILLER Honda 32.746
9 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 33.704
10 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 34.28
11 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 36.48
12 50 Eugene LAVERTY Ducati 36.638
13 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki 36.897
14 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 45.609
15 45 Scott REDDING Ducati 49.779
16 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda 52.665
17 6 Stefan BRADL Aprilia 52.784
18 53 Tito RABAT Honda 54.891
Not Classified      
  29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 7 Laps
  35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 8 Laps
  68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 8 Laps


Round Number: 
Tweet Button: 

Back to top


This season is easily the best in a longtime. Congrats to 'Desmo'Dovi for a well deserved win.

Rossi is making a habit of wheelying with the winner I guess :) 

Now, can't wait to see the KTM at Valencia! May we live in interesting times.

Any publicity is good publicity.

Congratulations to Dovi on a well-earned win.

Post qualifying, my gut told me Dovi would win this one no matter what just as this old gut told me Capirex would pull the pin on Vale back then. The parallels are remarkable. Ducati. I believe both Capirex and Dovi share a similar birthdate, apart from the year of course. Back in 2005 Capirex bolted from pole in a swealtering dry race and Vale had no answer and had to give best by about the same margin as today in treacherous conditions. Back then, as today, Vale never misses a shot at stealing the limelight post race. I remember the podium back then and Vale almost pushing Capirex off the top step in jest and asking in the interview...'where did that come from?' Today, whilst Dovi was chatting post race with Hodgie, Vale had to stick his face in. I'm passed getting irritated by that type of thing with him. Thats the way it is and is one facet of what makes him such a huge drawcard aside from his indisputable tallent at reading the situation anytime anywhere. Today, like in 2005, he was simply outfoxed, but certainly made Jorge eat humble pie. Crazy Joe was as crazy fast as ever and thankfully never spoiled the party for a change and crashed all on his lonesome.

Back to Dovi/Joe/Ducati and their rider selection for the next two years. This time they got it spot on by signing Dovi over the Maniac. Back in 2007 they got it all wrong by replacing Capirex with Melandri. Capirex even won a race for them in 2007(Motegi in equally treacherous conditions as today), but Stoner had by that stage mesmerised them into thinking the bike was everything and and abandoned the inside track that Capirex and Bayliss and Gibernau had laid for their GP project. Heading into 2017/8 they have an unknown in the form of Lorenzo, a solid base in Dovi and more importantly they will be together for 2 years rather than one. With Stoner on the sidelines within the team and no bad history between the three of them, next year, a decade post Ducati 2007, the Bologna outfit must be champing at the bit. Dovi always had what it took to win many GP's, but always err's on the side of genuine fair play which has probably cost him many a win. Anyway it was great to see him win and be the 9th this season. He will take much confidence heading to Valencia and beyond. A huge shout out to Hector. He's like old wine, the longer he's on that 2 year old bottle, the better he gets and its a much prettier Duck than the 'straked' GP16 Ugly Duck. George rode very smartly and that is what he will have to do next year with Ducati, rack up the points, learn and let Dovi spearhead until he gets 100% comfortable with the bike and cold Michelins. I was very impressed with the way he handled the crowd jeering and his post race comments. He just called it as it actualy was, except for one little arithmatical error. 2nd is Rossi's in the Championship 2016, no matter what in Valencia.. Yamaha on the other hand are a bunch of cur's to ban him from testing the Ducati prior 01/01/2017 and post Valencia test 2016. 

About that ban: from what I've heard Yamaha will not let JL test in retaliation to Ducati who did not let them test on Valencia. As you know Yamaha will have to return to Sepang for the tests and there is a high probability of wasting a lot of time due to the recurrent showers....so basically you don't know neither do I.... which is which? Did Ducati bar Yamaha from testing in Valencia and therefore the Japanese manufacturer retaliated by holding JL to his contract? Or the other way round?
I'm not sure that , as you suggest, the strategy will be Dovi spearheading and JL taking it slow and learning: JL said that he wants to have a greater say in the way the.bike is built.... so he'll need to put at the test and push at the maximum the bike made for him....
On the rest of your comments I don't see why you're saying that Dovi out foxed VR.....
It was a beautiful race Iannone and Rossi battled it out big time and then as we've seen in the last 6 or 7 races the Yamaha has a serious problem with tyre consumption.... c'mon: 2 seconds difference in one lap I would not call it outfoxing! But that's just my opinion of course.

"from what I've heard Yamaha will not let JL test in retaliation to Ducati who did not let them test on Valencia."

Are you talking about the time when VR went back from Ducati to Yamaha? Ducati did NOT block the Valencia test back then. The only time any blocking happened in the past 15 years or so is when Honda blocked Rossi from testing the Yamaha back in 2003.

My bad.I meant the test in Jerez end of November. I heard it some time ago: Ducati had reserved the track and invited anyone BUT Yamaha.... hence my question.... who started what? Because at the end of the day everybody is losing: JL not being able to test Yamaha having to cross half the world with uncertain weather to test.

It started yesterday. Dovi learned pretty quick in qualy that on a drying surface he could ramp it up a notch or two. So in the race, which was shortened by a lap, he knew he could stay close and ramp it up even further. So he did the smart thing and shadowed Joe and Vale having squabbles whilst chewing up their rubber. Rossi remarked that his front was pretty much shot after Iannone lost it and Dovi knew he was on the money right there. Rossi gifted him the lead by overcooking it and that was that. Vale would have served his quest for the win far better by merely shadowing Joe until he either caved physically due to a combination of injuries not yet fully healed or the inevitable maniacal crash whilst doing his typical full tilt boogie which was impressive while it lasted. Anyway it was a great day of racing. Speaking of outfoxed, I think Marc outfoxed himself with the carbon discs, like Aleix on the soft rear. One would think that great racer's at this level would by now have figured that if the 99% on the grid have gone with steel discs and medium, bucking the trend is a roll of the dice and inevitably ends up as snake eyes rather than eleven.

Cheers. Look forward to the last round of SBK shortly. Maybe Ducati should have a rethink re the '17 chassis and ressurect the Preziosi CF. Its certainly showing its worth with Chaz Davies. Casey must be watching all of this with a wry grin.

Still i think VR did the right thing. He probably did not expect the track to dry better than previous days
All in all great race. I'm really happy for Dovi.

 "Maybe Ducati should have a rethink re the '17 chassis and ressurect the Preziosi CF. Its certainly showing its worth with Chaz Davies."

The current 1199 Panigale R which Chaz has been racing in WSBK is a frameless monoqoque chassis but not carbon fiber...it's aluminium. Even the 1199 Panigale Superleggera (not homologated for racing) is a frameless magnesium chassis...not CF, but rumers of Ducati's last Panigale they'll put out before they end that platform WILL be a frameless CF chassis

1299 Panigale Superleggera (also not homologated for racing)