Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix

Race Report / Standings


Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) put in a formidable performance at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix to destroy the opposition, picking up his second win of the 2019 season in emphatic style. The Spaniard raced clear of a recovering second-place Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) fending off Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) for P3.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia MotoGP Podium
2019 Sepang MotoGP Race results:
1 – Maverick Viñales (SPA – Yamaha) 40’14.632
2 – Marc Marquez (SPA – Honda) +3.059
3 – Andrea Dovizioso (ITA – Ducati) +5.611

MotoGP Race Report

It was Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) who somehow shot up for the holeshot from the second row, the Aussie bravely heading round the outside to take the lead from front row starter Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) as his teammate – and polesitter – Fabio Quartararo lost out. Marquez and Dovizioso, meanwhile, had made lightning starts to move through from P11 and P10 respectively, already well up in the fight at the front. At the very front though, Viñales was already stalking his prey.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Start Miller
Sepang MotoGP

It didn’t take long for the number 12 to strike, snatching the lead from Miller at Turn 11 as Marquez passed Morbidelli for P4. A frantic first lap wasn’t over yet though, as Dovizioso then battled Miller for P2 at Turn 14 and Turn 15 and both headed wide – allowing Marquez to pounce.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Miller Marquez Dovi
Sepang MotoGP

He sat Miller up, but the Australian shot back past heading into Turn 1. That was only good news for Viñales, with the Spaniard already six tenths clear at the front.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Erly Vinales
Sepang MotoGP

Like Australia, Marquez said, he knew he had to try and get in behind the Yamaha to stay with him and it didn’t take too long for him to finally dispatch Miller. Reeling Viñales in, however, looked like a serious mountain to climb this time around, with the gap well over a second. A tenth here and a tenth there got chipped away, but the number 12 machine in the lead had a healthy gap – and wasn’t for slowing down.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Dovi Rossi Rins
Sepang MotoGP

It seemed, then, that the fight behind Marquez was going to remain the fight for third. Dovizioso grabbed it from Miller on Lap 4 and Rossi was threatening too, with ‘The Doctor’ finally dispatching Miller not too long after – and the Australian suffering an almighty moment as he hung on to his Ducati.

Shortly after that, things got even more heated between Miller and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) at the final corner as Rins went for the inside and the two made contact. A front bit of fairing flew off the Suzuki and both stayed up, but they were forced to watch the fight for third between Dovizioso and Rossi start to peel off into the distance.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Dovi Rossi Rins
Sepang MotoGP

Even further into that distance, the timing screens signalled Viñales had broken his rivals. A second and a half became nearly three as a mistake became the only hurdle between him and the win, with Marquez equally safe in second. And a mistake never came from either, with Viñales pitch perfect to take his – and Yamaha’s – second win of the season and bounce back from Australia in incredible style. Marquez took second and gained an impressive nine places on the way after his Q2 crash.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Vinales Flag
Sepang MotoGP

The fight for third, try as he might, would not go the way of Rossi. Rins had closed in to make matters even closer, and every advance ‘The Doctor’ made on the Ducati was repelled as the Suzuki also started to threaten. Dovizioso, as ever, was a demon on the brakes and the nine-time World Champion just couldn’t make a move stick, although a few lunges at it made for a great battle between the two Italians. ‘DesmoDovi’ took it by a few tenths over the line, with Rossi forced to settle for fourth and Rins completing the top five.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Dovizioso Rossi
Sepang MotoGP

Miller, meanwhile, slipped back into the clutches of the Petronas Yamaha SRT duo and Johann Zarco (LCR Honda Idemitsu). Morbidelli came out on top in that fight for sixth and he was top Independent Team rider in the race on the team’s home turf, and that combined with Quartararo’s tougher day at the office in seventh nevertheless means Petronas Yamaha SRT are Independent Team Champions too. Miller took P8, and Zarco, sadly, didn’t finish.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Zarco Mir Petrucci
Sepang MotoGP – Petrucci and Mir crashed while ultimately Zarco crashed out

The Frenchman showed a big step forward in his second race weekend on a Honda, but it ended early after a pass from Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) went awry, crashing Zarco out of the top ten. Mir would get a Long Lap Penalty for the incident, and that dropped him back below Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team), who took ninth.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Vinales ap
Sepang MotoGP

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) battled through to take P11, ahead of a close duel between Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) that went in favour of the Italian. Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) beat Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) to 14th as the two completed the points.

And so we leave Sepang and the flyaways with a new man on top after a run of dominant performances from Marquez. Viñales couldn’t be stopped in Malaysia, will the same be said at Valencia? Find out in two weeks as the paddock flies back to Europe for the season finale and we decide the team Champions and the top Independent Team rider of the year…

Maverick Viñales

“Honestly I have to say this is one of the times in life I’ve been the happiest. After the Australia crash I felt I won the race, because I attacked in my head…but then actually crashed. It was a bit of a disaster but we arrived here with everything clear, the bike was on a great level all weekend from FP1 since the first laps so we pushed, pushed and pushed and made a gap, which was important. I then tried to control the race which wasn’t easy; especially mentally it was very tough, but I have to congratulate the team because all weekend they did an awesome job.”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Vinales Trophy
Sepang MotoGP

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
11 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 94
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

Moto2 

In the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) did all he could to take the Championship down to the wire against Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) as the South African won for the fourth time this season, but it wasn’t quite enough. Marquez took second under immense pressure to wrap up the crown, with another key rival, Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP), completing the podium.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Moto Binder Marquez
Brad Binder

It was Binder who took the holeshot, the KTM rider slicing straight across off the line to cover Marquez and staking an early claim on the win. But the number 73 stayed calm and retained second, a few important places ahead of Lüthi as the Swiss rider failed to gain from fifth on the grid.

Early on it seemed the front two had the pace to escape, but a moment for Marquez at the final corner was a definite warning shot as the Spaniard had to fight off front row starter Nagashima to keep second. That he did, however, and he set off on the chase behind Binder once again before the South African made an error of his own.

An open door on Lap 3 saw Binder relinquish the lead AND let Nagashima through as Marquez was left in some clear air at the front, but with the tables turned the number 41 was equally able to cut the gap. And when the pass came, it was pretty brutal. After a quick look at the final corner that Marquez repelled, Binder attacked at Turn 1 and pushed both slightly wide – emerging on top as the number 73 was forced back into second.

The cat and mouse would be played out in pace from then on, with Binder able to stay a few tenths ahead and Marquez solid in second, holding a similar gap back to Lüthi. The Swiss rider had very much arrived on the scene, nipping past Nagashima after an error from the Japanese rider.

The three men at the top of the standings were now in their own private battle, and none would budge. A bit of time gained here became some lost there, and all that was left for each to do was stay calm under the pressure. Binder did that to cross the line for victory number four of the year, but Marquez was equally steadfast. The number 73 took podium number 10 to crown himself Moto2™ World Champion as Lüthi took another rostrum in third, agonisingly close to keeping the battle alive to Valencia.

Fourth went the way of Vierge after a solid ride, with Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) completing the top five for an improvement on a tough Saturday. Iker Lecuona (monday.com American Racing) beat Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) to sixth, with Nagashima ultimately crossing the line in eighth. Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) and last year’s winner, Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46), completed the top ten.

Augusto Fernandez’ (Flexbox HP 40) tougher run of form continued in P11, ahead of Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46), who was top rookie. Fellow debutants Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up), Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Marco Bezzecchi (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) all crashed out, so the fight for Rookie of the Year goes down to Valencia with ‘Diggia’ ahead.

Mattia Pasini (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) was 13th, with Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) able to take P14 despite an incident with Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2).

Remy Gardner – P14

“After a strong showing in Free Practice I was unable to string a lap together in qualifying when it mattered. I made a good start in the race which was the plan and moved into the top six but was suffering from no rear grip almost immediately. I was sliding all over the place and the bike was just so hard to ride. It’s a race to throw in the garbage, yes, we scored points, but we could and should have had more. Getting hit by Sam was the final straw, but at least I was able to save what could have been a zero score. I really hope that in Valencia we don’t suffer from any problematic tyres, and that we can end the season strong. It was nice to once again see so many people wearing my merchandise and the fans in Malaysia were really nice. See you all at the final round!”

The throne has now been taken and the king of 2019 crowned, so Valencia is a chance for him to race without pressure – and his rivals to hit back one more time. Who will take second overall this season? And who will take the Rookie of the Year title? Find out in two weeks.

Brad Binder

“We did everything we had to do, everything within our power we accomplished today. We knew it was an outside chance coming here because we knew it would need a lot of bad luck for the other guys. At the end of the day we did our job and that’s that, to walk away with the win today was incredible and we’ll just keep building for the future. I almost crashed, as I went for the front brake I didn’t realise how much less front grip there was than all weekend and I locked the front wheel, I was lucky to stay on! But all in all I can’t complain, it was a good race and I did my best. It was mistake free except that one…oh and I also almost crashed on the last lap to be fair!”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Moto Marquez Binder Luthi
Sepang Moto2 Race results:
1 – Brad Binder (RSA – KTM) 38’07.843
2 – Alex Marquez (SPA – Kalex) +0.758
3 – Tom Lüthi (SWI – Kalex) +2.683

Moto2 Results / Standings

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Brad BINDER KTM 38m07.843
2 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex +0.758
3 Thomas LUTHI Kalex +2.683
4 Xavi VIERGE Kalex +6.646
5 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up +7.114
6 Iker LECUONA KTM +8.582
7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex +9.232
8 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +10.180
9 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex +10.807
10 Luca MARINI Kalex +14.585
11 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex +16.521
12 Nicolo BULEGA Kalex +22.333
13 Mattia PASINI Kalex +23.326
14 Remy GARDNER Kalex +23.810
15 Dominique AEGERTER MV Agusta +24.002
16 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex +24.055
17 Jake DIXON KTM +27.663
18 Dimas EKKY PRATAMA Kalex +29.455
19 Joe ROBERTS KTM +30.896
20 Jesko RAFFIN NTS +37.044
21 Philipp OETTL KTM +50.548
22 Lukas TULOVIC KTM +54.921
23 Xavi CARDELUS KTM +1’00.678
24 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex 1 Lap
Not Classified
DNF Sam LOWES Kalex 5 Laps
DNF Marco BEZZECCHI KTM 6 Laps
DNF Stefano MANZI MV Agusta 8 Laps
DNF Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex 10 Laps
DNF Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 11 Laps
DNF Adam NORRODIN Kalex 13 Laps
DNF Jorge MARTIN KTM 16 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
DNF Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS 0 Lap
Pos Rider Bike Total
1 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex 262
2 Brad BINDER KTM 234
3 Thomas LUTHI Kalex 230
4 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up 210
5 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex 197
6 Luca MARINI Kalex 182
7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 171
8 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex 137
9 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 101
10 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex 95
11 Iker LECUONA KTM 90
12 Jorge MARTIN KTM 83
13 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 78
14 Remy GARDNER Kalex 76
15 Xavi VIERGE Kalex 72
16 Sam LOWES Kalex 60
17 Nicolo BULEGA Kalex 48
18 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex 46
19 Mattia PASINI Kalex 30
20 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta 26
21 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex 23
22 Marco BEZZECCHI KTM 17
23 Dominique AEGERTER MV Agusta 15
24 Simone CORSI NTS 10
25 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS 7
26 Jesko RAFFIN NTS 6
27 Jake DIXON KTM 4
28 Joe ROBERTS KTM 4
29 Lukas TULOVIC KTM 3
30 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex 3

Moto3

Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) made it four wins so far this season with an impressive victory in the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, attacking on the final lap to escape the huge fight for second. Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) took his first ever Grand Prix podium in second, with Jaume Masia (Mugen Race) completing the podium after a stunning comeback from last on the grid. The Spaniard didn’t get away for the Warm Up lap and faced a mountain to climb.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Moto DallaPorta
Lorenzo Dalla Porta

It was Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) who took the holeshot from second on the grid – or it seemed so – but Arenas had different ideas as the KTM rider shot through from third into the lead out of Turn 1. Polesitter Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) was quick to attack, however, taking over at the front and Suzuki then following him through. The Japanese rider took over at the front not long after as the freight train settled in, but drama wasn’t far away.

A few laps in it was Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) heading the race but the Argentinean then suddenly highsided from the lead, with Suzuki unable to avoid him and immediately caught out before Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) also hit the stricken bike. That left a gap in the group and a gaggle of four up ahead – Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46), Dalla Porta, Albert Arenas (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) and a stunner from Masia, who was up from the back.

On the chase there were a few fast names, however, and sure enough the likes of Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers), John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Garcia and Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) closed them back down, recreating the freight train.

And so, back to a ten-rider fight for the win, from Dalla Porta and Vietti to Ramirez in P10, the heat was on as the elbows started to come out. By the final lap it was a smaller squabble but some familiar names at the front, with Dalla Porta leading over the line for the penultimate time – and Vietti looking a likely candidate to challenge him to the wire.

Into Turn 1, the rookie struck for the lead but the World Champion was quick to respond at Turn 4 as Vietti struggled to keep it under control, initially losing the position but then able to turn that into a counter attack to slice back into the lead. Dalla Porta again fought back, this time at Turn 9, and that would be all she wrote for the race win as Vietti then got shuffled a couple more places back just behind him.

The number 48 shot towards the final corner with a healthy enough gap and a little breathing space, but there was little of that in the fight to complete the podium. With Garcia, Arenas, Vietti, Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), Ramirez and McPhee all within at least a shout of a rostrum, the last corner was the decider and earlier for some.

Arenas was the man who lost out first as he slid out of contention, with Garcia coming out on top in the fight for second and Masia completing his pretty fairytale-esque race as he completed the podium from the very back of the grid. Ogura got the better of Vietti and ensures the Rookie of the Year fight rolls on to Valencia, with the Italian left off the rostrum despite an impressive race.

Ramirez recovered to sixth after running off avoiding the early race Rodrigo-Suzuki-Lopez incident, getting the better of McPhee as the Scot took a solid seventh. Canet was a little further back in P8 although he pulled out a few tenths on Arbolino, with Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) completing the top ten as he continues he fight back to full fitness.

Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) took P11 ahead of Arenas, who managed to remount and take points, with Filip Salač (Redox PrüstelGP), Raul Fernandez (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) and Riccardo Rossi (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) completing the points.

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Moto Sasaki Migno
Moto3 mayhem – Sasaki and Migno go down

Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Andrea Migno (Mugen Race) and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) crashed out in an incident, with Darryn Binder (CIP-Green Power) another man who’d been in the fight before crashing out. Sasaki was declared unfit due to a hand fracture.

Lorenzo Dalla Porta

“I said it to the media in pitlane and in the interviews on the grid that I just wanted to enjoy this race and win, so I did simply that – enjoy it and take victory in the race. It’s fantastic to do it, and thank you to all of my team and to my family!'”

MotoGP Rnd Malaysia Moto Garcia Dalla Porta Masia
Sepang Moto3 Race results:
1 – Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA – Honda) 38’01.355
2 – Sergio Garcia (SPA – Honda) +0.401
3 – Jaume Masia (SPA – KTM) +0.803

Moto3 Results / Standings

Pos. Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Honda 38m01.355
2 Sergio GARCIA Honda +0.410
3 Jaume MASIA KTM +0.803
4 Ai OGURA Honda +0.885
5 Celestino VIETTI KTM +0.902
6 Marcos RAMIREZ Honda +1.095
7 John MCPHEE Honda +1.342
8 Aron CANET KTM +2.253
9 Tony ARBOLINO Honda +3.035
10 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda +7.726
11 Romano FENATI Honda +8.008
12 Albert ARENAS KTM +10.521
13 Filip SALAC KTM +15.542
14 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM +15.873
15 Riccardo ROSSI Honda +15.950
16 Makar YURCHENKO KTM +16.064
17 Jakub KORNFEIL KTM +16.497
18 Kazuki MASAKI KTM +16.567
19 Dennis FOGGIA KTM +24.161
20 Can ONCU KTM +29.330
21 Tom BOOTH-AMOS KTM +1m22.202
Not Classified
DNF Darryn BINDER KTM 7 Laps
DNF Ayumu SASAKI Honda 9 Laps
DNF Andrea MIGNO KTM 9 Laps
DNF Kaito TOBA Honda 9 Laps
DNF Stefano NEPA KTM 10 Laps
DNF Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 12 Laps
DNF Gabriel RODRIGO Honda 12 Laps
DNF Alonso LOPEZ Honda 12 Laps
Pos Rider Bike Total
1 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Honda 279
2 Aron CANET KTM 190
3 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 175
4 Marcos RAMIREZ Honda 174
5 John MCPHEE Honda 156
6 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 128
7 Celestino VIETTI KTM 127
8 Jaume MASIA KTM 121
9 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 111
10 Albert ARENAS KTM 108
11 Ai OGURA Honda 103
12 Dennis FOGGIA KTM 97
13 Jakub KORNFEIL KTM 77
14 Romano FENATI Honda 76
15 Alonso LOPEZ Honda 71
16 Gabriel RODRIGO Honda 67
17 Ayumu SASAKI Honda 62
18 Kaito TOBA Honda 60
19 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM 60
20 Andrea MIGNO KTM 58
21 Darryn BINDER KTM 54
22 Sergio GARCIA Honda 51
23 Makar YURCHENKO KTM 22
24 Filip SALAC KTM 21
25 Stefano NEPA KTM 19
26 Kazuki MASAKI KTM 14
27 Tom BOOTH-AMOS KTM 10
28 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda 8
29 Carlos TATAY KTM 8
30 Riccardo ROSSI Honda 6
31 Can ONCU KTM 4
32 Jeremy ALCOBA Honda 2
33 Elia BARTOLINI KTM 1
Fabio Quartararo Scorpion x

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