2019 MotoGP
Rnd 18 – Sepang – Malaysia

Rider Quotes

Maverick Viñales – P1

“It was an incredible race. We prepared for the race really well all weekend. I felt I had a big potential after the first lap. I took the lead after the first two splits and I kept pushing, pushing, and pushing. Honestly, I’m so happy. We did a good job. What a shame in Australia, because that was a race where I felt I had a lot of potential too, but being in first place here is amazing. I would like to dedicate this race to Munandar, the kid that passed away yesterday. He was my favourite in the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup. I offer my condolences to all the family.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Marc Marquez – P2

“It was an incredible race, a great first lap. Maybe the best of my career, alongside Mugello 2015 – I watched this lap last night to see what I did! It was a very nice first lap but unfortunately the tyre dropped a lot in those first three laps and I lost a little time with Miller. Viñales was faster than us today and the target was the podium. I tried to do like in Phillip Island and stay right behind him but the gap was too big at 1.1 seconds and I made a mistake and dropped back. I’m happy with my race, but you can’t imagine how happy I am for my brother’s victory – he deserves it so much. It’s an incredible day but we also have to remember Munandar, a young and talented rider who we unfortunately lost. A big hug to his family and friends.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Marquez Alex Marc
Marc Marquez and brother Alex who was crowned Moto2 World Champion in Malaysia

Andrea Dovizioso – P3

“I’m very pleased because it was the fastest race we’ve ever done at Sepang in the dry, and so we have to be satisfied with this result. We knew that with a good start we could have aimed for a good result, but unfortunately in the race I didn’t have the same feeling as I had in practice: the tyres dropped a lot and I couldn’t stay with Viñales and Marquez. Pity because I was hoping I could, but in any case I’m happy with this podium, which is very important for me”.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Valentino Rossi – P4

“I had a good start, but then on the first straight some riders overtook me. After that I was very competitive. I managed to set the fastest race lap, a new track record, and made several overtakes, until I got close to Dovizioso. Together with Dovizioso we had a good fight. It was very nice. I was a little better in the twisty parts of the track, but Dovizioso was faster on the straights. I hoped that I could be quicker on the last laps, but I couldn’t. We are faster in the turns, but it is also true that we stress the tyres more when we are cornering. So, at the end I wasn’t as fast as I was at the beginning, but I’m happy because the degradation was less than usual. At the end I’m satisfied, because during this weekend I rode well, and I learned a few things. We are making improvements, trying to use all the potential of the M1. At the end I managed to keep off Rins, but I’m very sorry because I didn’t make the podium, then I would have been even happier. Now we will do our best in Valencia.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Alex Rins – P5

“It was a really difficult race because it was so hot and humid, but I tried to give my maximum. I felt a lack of traction at the beginning of the race, but it got better after a while and I was eventually able to catch Valentino and Dovi. In the end it wasn’t possible to over-take them, but I’m still pleased to bring home 5th. I’m really looking forward to going to Valencia, I hope we can enjoy the race there.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Rins
Alex Rins

Franco Morbidelli – P6

“We can’t complain, because it was a good weekend all round even if we were expecting a little more from the race. I didn’t quite have the right feeling when we got going though, which is something we need to investigate – but even with that, we were able to bring the bike to the end in sixth place and as the top Independent Team rider. I was losing something in acceleration to the other guys, and then having to ride harder in braking to make up the difference. We’ve got one race left in Valencia to try and get that podium finish at long last.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Morbidelli Quartararo
Franco Morbidelli

Fabio Quartararo – P7

“It was a really tough race, and I struggled a lot. My first lap was a disaster, and I couldn’t stop the bike – which is an issue we haven’t had all weekend. We couldn’t make the result we wanted despite having the pace to fight for much better, and we have to figure out why that was the case. We’ve got one more race to go this year and we need to focus on that so that we can go out well at Valencia, especially as we’re going there much more experienced than we were twelve months ago when we tested there.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Jack Miller – P8

“The start was very good and I tried to take my rhythm trying to control the race pace. From lap three, however, the feeling with the front tyre dropped a lot and I couldn’t push anymore. It’s a shame because I felt like I had the pace to fight for the podium. The contact with Rins? It was a very strange race, I suffered a lot of attacks maybe over the limit. But these are races.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Miller Zarco Mir Petrucci
Jack Miller

Danilo Petrucci – P9

“It was another very difficult race: I was making a comeback towards the end but in the last five laps I felt a very strong vibration at the rear and I couldn’t continue pushing hard. In the race I struggled a lot because my back is still hurting after last Sunday’s crash in Australia, and I couldn’t do any more. It’s a pity about the problem I had at the end of the race, but in any case I tried to bring home the best result.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Mir Petrucci Clash
Danilo Petrucci and Joan Mir clash

Joan Mir – P10

“This was the hardest race of my life, physically I suffered a lot and I found I couldn’t breathe very well. This stems from the lung injury I sustained in Brno, in these humid conditions I find it very hard and it shows I’m not quite fully recovered. This affected my race, but in the end I could get another Top 10 and it’s all good experience for me. It will be nice to go home now and prepare for the final race in Spain.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Mir Espargaro
Joan Mir

Pol Espargaro – P11

“It was not like a European race where we are fighting for a top ten, normally, but to come from where we did on Friday means I am pleased. There was a lot of set-up [work] and thinking going on during the nights and the team have done a very good job. It is amazing to turnaround the weekend like we did. We were improving much more than the others. Now to the final race and then Valencia will be a fun test and Jerez as well: the new engine is coming, the new chassis is coming, the whole package. It looks very promising.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Pol Espargaro Aleix
Pol Espargaro

Pecco Bagnaia – P12

“It was a very difficult race. We started with great expectations but it was not possible to do what we hoped to do. From the first lap I had no rear grip and I couldn’t take advantage of the acceleration. In my best race lap I did the same time set in FP1. So we have to check the data to find a solution and finish the season in Valencia in the best possible way.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Bagnaia Mir Aleix
Pecco Bagnaia

Aleix Espargaro – P13

“I cannot be pleased with this race, especially because I had a decidedly better pace than my finishing position reflects. Unfortunately, our limitations in acceleration make it very difficult to overtake. I lost time today behind Bagnaia and in the battle with Pol. In the end, I limited the damage, even in terms of gap. Now we’ll prepare our best for Valencia and next season.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro

Jorge Lorenzo – P14

“At the start of the race it was very difficult with the other riders around, the turbulence disturbed my pace a lot. But there are some positives because I was able to be within seven tenths of my best lap time for the whole race. Obviously, we are still not fast enough but we are getting closer and closer to the goal of being 30 seconds from the winner after my crash in Assen. The two points we earned are important to help the team fight for the Team Championship in Valencia, this is the main objective now.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Lorenzo Syahrin
Jorge Lorenzo

Mika Kallio – P15

“If we think about the feeling on Friday then it was already a bit better yesterday but we were still suffering quite a lot. For me it was a case of not being able to get the best out of the tyres. I started the race quite well and managed to gain a few positions and reached the group where Pol was riding but saw I didn’t have much of a chance to stay there. I lost a lot of time on the fast sections and corners. I just couldn’t follow them and it’s a shame. Now to Valencia and it is always nice to finish the season – hopefully – in a good way.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Kallio Lorenzo
Mika Kallio

Hafizh Syahrin – P16

“The race itself was very hard and, for sure, very emotional for me, as – for the moment – it was my last home Grand Prix in the MotoGP class but I will return with the Moto2. I hope all the fans enjoyed the race here, I couldn’t do more. I appreciate all the support a lot and I want to say a huge thank you to my team, who were there for me from my first moment on, worked hard and never got tired to help me. I really enjoyed this moment and I hope I can come back strong next year.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Syahrin Malaysia
Hafizh Syahrin

Karel Abraham – P17

“It is a shame because I believe we could have fight for the points, we had the pace, a good set-up and we were ready. The start was not bad at all but next to me was Mika Kallio, he pushed me a little bit and I went last. The biggest problem was when I tried to overtake the riders and in the last corner Jorge Lorenzo pushed me to the right over the kerbs, I could not stop the bike and I had to go to the gravel and almost stop the bike so I lost a lot of time there. It was a nightmare race because I was racing against myself lap by lap trying to arrive to the riders in front but I just could not make it.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Karel Abraham
Karel Abraham

Johann Zarco – DNF

“I must be happy about the race. I had good pace and I was back fighting with good guys. I still need to make another step to understand the bike better and ride this Honda better, but I feel there’s good potential that I can go faster and be with the top guys. Today has been a good race, it’s always difficult in Malaysia with the warmth, but I was giving my best and controlling things quite well. I had a good fight with Jack Miller for eighth position, I was a bit faster than him and tried to overtake him many times, but he was fighting hard. Then I tried to overtake him again three laps from the end and Joan Mir on the Suzuki tried an extreme overtake and totally pushed me away and I could not control the bike. It’s a shame, but what I keep in mind is that I was back in a good feeling and in a better position, so I need to keep pushing and learning and hopefully we’ll get a good result in Valencia.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Miller Zarco
Johann Zarco

Cal Crutchlow – DNF

“Today was a difficult race, we’re very disappointed with the result of crashing out of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Today I got a really bad start and on the first lap found myself really far back in the field already. I tried to make progress and I was in a group that eventually finished around eighth place, but I had a bad feeling with the tyres today and didn’t feel good grip from the track or with our bike setting. Over the weekend I felt we’d made progress and could have had a good result today, but after the bad start I struggled to have the pace of going with the front guys. With the crash, I made a small mistake in the braking as I was trying everything to find the grip with the front tyre and unfortunately I locked the front. But we’d had a good last few races and now we look forward to the season finale in Valencia.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow

Andrea Iannone – DNF

“It was a strange race. I didn’t have a bad pace, but I was slow in speed, staying in the slipstream for a long time and things did not improve. The temperatures began to rise, including the front tyre temperature, and I struggled until the crash. We have work to do, but I have peace of mind. I’ll be ready when we are able to make an important step forward.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Iannone
Andrea Iannone

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“What a superb win! Maverick has been strong all weekend, and his confidence was really high, but he had quite the task ahead of him. Breaking away from the rider field early on was his strategy from the start, but it‘s never easy. He executed it perfectly though. His riding was outstanding during the whole race, and to take the win by such a distance is incredibly rewarding. It‘s well-deserved for both him and the team. They have been working non-stop these last few weeks. This victory tastes even sweeter after he came so close last weekend, and it moves him up to third in the championship standings, which is a nice extra benefit. The only thing that could have made this day even better was if Vale would have been able to get a place on the podium too. He came so close to third place but just missed out because of the lack of top speed. Anyway, he rode a very solid race and definitely didn‘t stop trying. It was good to see him keep up his pace without too much trouble with tyre degradation, even if fourth place was the maximum result for him today. This weekend has been a great moral boost, because both riders were competitive. We now get to rest a bit before we go to Spain for the final round of the season in Valencia in two weeks‘ time, where we hope to put on a good show again!”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Vinales Team
Maverick Vinales and team

Razlan Razali – Petronas SRT Team Principal

“It has been an incredible first Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix for Petronas Sepang Racing Team as a squad represented across all three classes. The support at Sepang International Circuit was phenomenal and we thank everyone who came to cheer us on. On track, we had mixed results today. In Moto3, John McPhee was hampered after a racing incident so wasn’t able to fight for the podium. Ayumu Sasaki showed good pace but unfortunately finished the weekend with a broken hand. Adam Norrodin was also doing quite well in the Moto2 race until he crashed too. In the MotoGP race, Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo weren’t able to capitalise on their first and third positions on the grid – but we were able to take the best Independent Team award, to extend Fabio’s lead in the Independent Riders’ award, and to stay ahead of Suzuki in fourth in the overall team championship so there’s plenty of reason for good home cheer! We’re already looking forward to finishing the final round of the championship strongly in Valencia.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Petronas SRT Sepang
Petronas SRT

Wilco Zeelenberg – Petronas SRT Team Principal

“In many ways, it was a fantastic weekend as we were very fast with both Franco and Fabio on Friday and Saturday, and then we secured the Independent Team trophy on Sunday. This was one of our targets for the season so it is a real accomplishment for us to achieve this. Of course, we aren’t completely happy with the race results; if you’re on the front row of the grid then for sure you don’t expect to be sixth and seventh, but we head to Valencia with more experience and we hope to be fighting right at the front once more.”

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“Compared to the last two or three races, today has been quite good. Last year we were able to get 2nd place, so we came into this race with high expectations. In the end it didn’t quite work out as we’d hoped. Alex fought well to 5th place, and Joan was also doing very well before the penalty. Both riders had strong pace today, but the results don’t quite reflect that. We’re ready to go to the final race and end the season in good form.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Rossi Rins
Alex Rins chasing Valentino Rossi

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“Today has been quite good. Alex did well and despite the damage to the fairing, and he got very close to the podium. We’re pleased with this 5th place. Joan didn’t feel very good physically, and he couldn’t quite show all his potential. He received a long lap penalty for something with we think was a racing incident. We have cleared the air with Johann Zarco, who actually came to apologise to us. But anyway, the decision went like that and we have to respect it. Overall, the weekend has been tough due to conditions, but we’ve had a solid race day.”

Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Team Manager

“We started the weekend in a tough way and with problems to find grip with the rear tyre. So we had to work hard to find the right setting, which we did session-by-session but we were not ready in time for qualifying and for a good grid position. From P15 we knew it would be hard for Pol to fight for a single digit result but we saw in morning warm-up when he was 9th that we’d made a step and that gave him confidence. Mika helped us a lot because he tried some ideas we had to make the bike better. In the end it was a hard race for everybody but mid-distance we had times similar to the group pushing for sixth-seventh but we were not part of that front group ‘train’. It was tricky to stay on two wheels and it is always hard to find the limit on this track. We have to thank Mika for his work and in the end he got a point and it was a shame that Hafizh just missed out. We are happy with the outcome even if we didn’t meet our usual target. We missed Miguel from FP1 onwards, which didn’t help us going forward with the bike. We wish him all the best because it looks like he will miss Valencia. We hope he will be back strong as soon as possible.”

Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 Team Manager

“It was an emotional race for the entire Red Bull KTM Tech3 team and at the same time the last race for Hafizh Syahrin in MotoGP here in Malaysia for now. We know how much he was willing to race in front of his home crowd and we saw how much the crowd was supporting him and cheering for him, so I’m glad he could have an ok race. I think the last lap of celebrations was full of emotions. We are happy to have given that feeling to the crowd, to have given that possibility to Hafizh. He has done a steady race, but more than the race, I would like to thank him for what he did with us for these past two years. Still we got one race to go in Valencia, but that one was very special for him and for us. It’s been a good moment and I’d like to thank him for what he did and for being such a nice guy as well as such a great ambassador for MotoGP in his home country Malaysia. Regarding Miguel, as most of you have been informed, he is having an operation today in Europe on his right shoulder injured in Silverstone, following a crash. We are just hoping that everything is going to be fine. That was by far the best solution and we know he will be fully recovered within maximum two months, so he will miss Valencia, but he will be absolutely fit for the first tests in Sepang, which was the main point. I’d like to thank him a lot, because since Silverstone he’s riding in a lot of pain, he never gave up. He didn’t want to talk too much about it, but I know he was in a lot of pain, which is always a handicap and Miguel is a true gentleman, a real fast MotoGP rider. His rookie season was not easy, but he showed speed and a huge commitment, so we just can’t wait to see him back on the bike with full fitness.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin

“This has been an ideal weekend to finish off a busy time with the fly-away races. We saw our tyres produce some excellent performances as we set the fastest outright lap, new pole and race lap records and a new race duration best. This is another indication of the performance the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres are giving the riders and with three different manufacturers, using three different configurations on the podium, it is another positive aspect and indication of what we are constantly trying to achieve. We have had four races in five weekends and have had to take on many different conditions, but we are pleased with the tour as a whole, because we have seen good, close, competitive racing, with the tyres giving consistent and fast performances at all the racetracks. Sometimes the weather was against us, but even in the most difficult of conditions the riders were able to use our tyres to give them the confidence they needed. We now head back to France, before we go to Spain for the final race of the year and then begin the preparation for 2020.”

MotoGP Results / Standings

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 40m14.632
2 Marc MARQUEZ Honda +3.059
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +5.611
4 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha +5.965
5 Alex RINS Suzuki +6.350
6 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha +9.993
7 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha +12.864
8 Jack MILLER Ducati +17.252
9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +19.773
10 Joan MIR Suzuki +22.854
11 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +24.821
12 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati +30.251
13 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia +30.447
14 Jorge LORENZO Honda +34.215
15 Mika KALLIO KTM +34.461
16 Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM +44.319
17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati +47.343
Not Classified
DNF Johann ZARCO Honda 4 Laps
DNF Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 6 Laps
DNF Andrea IANNONE Aprilia 9 Laps
Pos Rider Bike Total
1 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 395
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 256
3 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 201
4 Alex RINS Suzuki 194
5 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 176
6 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 172
7 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 166
8 Jack MILLER Ducati 149
9 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 133
10 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 115
12 Joan MIR Suzuki 83
13 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 74
14 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 56
15 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 54
16 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia 43
17 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 33
18 Johann ZARCO Honda 30
19 Jorge LORENZO Honda 25
20 Tito RABAT Ducati 18
21 Stefan BRADL Honda 16
22 Michele PIRRO Ducati 9
23 Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM 8
24 Sylvain GUINTOLI Suzuki 7
25 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 7
26 Mika KALLIO KTM 3
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