Joan Mir hunts down Martin to equal Marquez Moto3 win tally
World Champion takes win number ten of the year after catching and passing Jorge Martin
Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) backed up his win and Championship title from Phillip Island with another impressive performance at Sepang International Circuit, taking the win after catching and passing early leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3).
Martin took second – just – after dueling with Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) to the line. Bastianini was just 0.039 off the Spaniard over the line to complete the podium. Mir now has 11 wins to extend his lead in the record books in the “most wins in Moto3” category, and is the first rider to win ten races in a year in the lighweight category since Marc Marquez in 2010.
It was Martin who got the holeshot from second on the grid, and the Spaniard shot away into the lead early – six tenths inside the lap record second time around. In clear air and breaking the slipstream effect early, it seemed it could be a done deal – but Mir was soon on the chase. The new Champion reeled in his compatriot and sliced past as soon as he was on the scene – but he wasn’t able to escape.
Bastianini was then able to catch the pair and the three were together on track until a close moment between the number 33 and the number 88 allowed Mir to make a break for it.
Not needing a second invitation, the Majorcan was then able to hold onto it and leave the two behind to duel it out for the remaining spots on the podium, with that decided at the final corner in favour of Martin.
Jorge Martin – P2
“Given my pace in warm up, I tried to give my all at the beginning of the race and try to pull away, and I almost did it. It was the right thing to do because we had everything we needed to do it, but it wasn’t enough. We are competitive everywhere and that’s out there for everyone to see, the team is working extremely well, so I hope we’ll keep the momentum going at Valencia”
Livio Loi (Leopard Racing) put in another impressive ride after bouncing back from a broken collarbone earlier in the season, and the Belgian had a lonely ride to fourth. He was ahead of an incredible group battle for fifth as John McPhee (British Talent Team) made his move late to take the reins in that fight, crossing the line in P5 by just 0.039 over Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46).
Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) took seventh ahead of his rival for second in the standings Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), thereby confirming himself as the runner up in 2017. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) was able to move up from his grid position for ninth, with Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completing the top ten.
Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) had an eventful home race as he was running up near the front for some time before a crash, remounting in a flash and getting back in the action in fourteenth. By the end of the race, the Malaysian was able to take eleventh and just beat rookie teammate Ayumu Sasaki at the flag – but it was a solid double points finish and a positive home weekend for the Sepang International Circuit Racing Team.
RBA Racing Team duo Juanfran Guevara and Gabriel Rodrigo took P13 and P14 respectively, with Manuel Pagliani (CIP) completing the p
oints scorers. Now it’s back west for the final round in Spain.
Moto3 Race Results
- Joan Mir (SPA – Honda) 40’14.545
- Jorge Martin (SPA – Honda) + 0.724
- Enea Bastianini (ITA – Honda) + 0.763
Moto3 Championship Points Standings
- Joan MIR Honda SPA 321
- Romano FENATI Honda ITA 235
- Aron CANET Honda SPA 192
- Jorge MARTIN Honda SPA 171
- Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Honda ITA 153
- Enea BASTIANINI Honda ITA 130
- John MCPHEE Honda GBR 123
- Andrea MIGNO KTM ITA 118
- Marcos RAMIREZ KTM SPA 107
- Philipp OETTL KTM GER 104
- Nicolo BULEGA KTM ITA 81
- Livio LOI Honda BEL 80
- Juanfran GUEVARA KTM SPA 78
- Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda JPN 66
- Bo BENDSNEYDER KTM NED 61