Dani Pedrosa (26) claimed his third MotoGP win of the season to stay in the hunt for the World Championship. Dani Pedrosa (26) claimed his third MotoGP win of the season to stay in the hunt for the World Championship. Photo courtesy motogp.com

Pedrosa takes second straight Malaysian GP

Written by  on Tuesday, 15 October 2013 08:21

Dani Pedrosa won the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle GP on Sunday, collecting his third victory of the 2013 MotoGP™ season. Marc Marquez completed a Repsol Honda Team one-two after a nail-biting battle with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, as the reigning World Champion rounded out the podium.

With four races to go in 2013, Sepang marked the first event of a triple-header which next weekend takes the MotoGP™ fraternity to Australia, before racing in Japan on the final weekend of the month.

Saturday saw Marquez storm to a fourth consecutive pole position as the newcomer attempted to edge ever closer to an historic title win.

Pedrosa’s victory came as his first for almost five months, having not stood atop the podium since Le Mans in mid-May. He narrowly missed out on taking the lead as Lorenzo swept through at the start, but overhauled the Mallorcan at the end of the first lap. As Lorenzo became involved in an intense battle with Marquez, who finally made the move stick at turn 14 with just over 11 laps to go, Pedrosa extended his advantage to pick up a second successive victory on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

Once he got out in front Pedrosa laid down a succession of ruthlessly quick laps and eventually he came home as a 2.8s winner over his colleague Marquez.

It must have been sweeter than ever, after the difficulties of the last fortnight and the heavy bruising he suffered in his spectacular Aragon crash – which was caused inadvertently by Marquez.

Reflecting on taking the maximum 25 points, Pedrosa stated, “It’s a great feeling to come back and to win this race after the huge crash at Aragon, because physically it is very hard here.

“I have had a hard week and almost couldn’t get out of bed. So it’s great to come back and win this for the fans and the team. It’s a shame really because I had a very good pace at Aragon and could have won, but unfortunately I crashed. So I just want to congratulate my fans, my team and my family.”

Pedrosa still has an outside chance at winning the 2013 MotoGP title, now trailing Marquez in the standings by 54 points, in third position overall, with three races remaining.

Should Marquez claim the crown next weekend, the 20-year-old Spaniard would become the youngest ever premier class World Champion and the first rookie title winner since Kenny Roberts in 1978. If he wins, the ultimate honour will be his providing Lorenzo finishes third or lower.

"These 20 points are very important and I'm really happy with how the race went today," Marquez commented. "I had a nice, fun battle with Lorenzo, but at the same time I could see that Dani was opening up a gap.

"When I finally managed to overtake Jorge and make the pass stick, I tried to reduce the distance that Dani had put between us. However, I saw that it was too risky. From that moment on, I decided to focus on keeping Lorenzo at bay because the goal here was to finish the race ahead of him.

"We did what we came here to do, so we are very happy."

Lorenzo made an excellent start to the race as he so often does, overtaking Pedrosa early on lap one after his rival had taken the hole-shot. Having started in fourth on the grid, Lorenzo held the lead in the early stages before Pedrosa made his move and took over at the front.

Following the fall-out from Pedrosa’s Aragon crash, Lorenzo had been critical of Marquez’ riding style but the two had a phenomenal fight at Sepang, almost colliding on more than one occasion - though both riders rode clean and highly determined races. 

Lorenzo cited tire degradation and a lack of advantage on braking and acceleration for his inability to fend off Marquez and he must sense that his premier class title is slipping from his grasp.

Lorenzo spoke philosophically post race, saying, "I enjoyed the battle (with Marquez) because it was good fun and went on for a while. I’m happy with the podium because a podium is a podium, but I’m slightly disappointed too because I wanted to beat Dani and if possible win the race.

"Today in the heat we were not competitive enough. At the beginning like always we were not so bad but once the rear tire dropped we weren’t strong enough on braking and the other guys recovered so much ground. In the middle of the race we also started to lose out on acceleration too. Third place was the best result possible and we did everything we could."

Outside of the top three at Sepang, multiple winner Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing) experienced a somewhat lonely ride to fourth spot as Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) came out on top in a battle with Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech3); the Spaniard now moves up to sixth place in the Riders’ Championship, ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, who was forced to miss the race because of a broken ankle.

Tech3’s Bradley Smith and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso were seventh and eighth, ahead of lead CRT runner Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics Aspar) and Yonny Hernandez (Ignite Pramac Racing).

In 15th spot, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards clinched the final point after he, Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera and PBM’s Michael Laverty were handed ride-through penalties for jumping the start.

A total of five riders failed to finish, including 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden, who parked his Ducati Team machine on the start/finish straight after suffering technical problems.

Tito Rabat completed a controlled weekend in the Moto2™ Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle GP, topping every session before winning a shortened race. Pol Espargaro finished second with Scott Redding seventh, meaning the Englishman’s championship advantage decreases from 20 points to nine.

Originally scheduled to be a 19-lap encounter, the race distance was shortened to 12 tours following a delay after a multiple collision on the opening lap. After the initial incident for Axel Pons (Tuenti HP 40), Fadli Immammuddin (JIR Moto2) collected the stranded bike before Ezequiel Iturrioz (Blusens Avintia), Zaqhwan Zaidi (Technomag carXpert) and Decha Kraisart (Singha Eneos Yamaha Tech 3) also became involved. Thankfully, all riders escaped major injury.

At the restart, Espargaro took advantage by clinching the lead, only for Rabat to slide back ahead and remain in front for the rest of the race. His third victory of the season moves him to within 28 points of the championship leader with a maximum of 75 still on offer across the final trio of Grands Prix.

After overhauling Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Luthi at the start of the penultimate tour, Espargaro clinched second place to reduce Redding’s championship lead yet further.

Fourth and fifth positions were filled by Redding’s teammate Mika Kallio and Technomag carXpert’s Dominique Aegerter.

Luis Salom extended his Moto3™ championship lead by coming out on top of a multiple-rider battle in Malaysia. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider beat Alex Rins by just 69 thousands of a second, with Miguel Oliveira completing the podium.

Leading into the final lap, Salom would lose his advantage to Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Rins but had critically retaken the advantage as the pack headed down the back straight for the final time. Rins attacked at the final corner, but was narrowly deprived of a hat-trick of consecutive victories. In third place, Oliveira and Mahindra Racing collected their first podium finish of the 2013 campaign.

Salom’s victory raises his points total to 284 with three races remaining, leading Rins by 14 points with a maximum of 75 still on offer. Maverick Viñales sits third on 258 points, 26 in arrears of Salom ahead of next weekend’s Tissot Australian Grand Prix.

MotoGP Race Results

1

25

26

Dani PEDROSA

SPA

Repsol Honda Team

Honda

163.3

40'45.191

2

20

93

Marc MARQUEZ

SPA

Repsol Honda Team

Honda

163.1

+2.757

3

16

99

Jorge LORENZO

SPA

Yamaha Factory Racing

Yamaha

162.9

+6.669

4

13

46

Valentino ROSSI

ITA

Yamaha Factory Racing

Yamaha

162.6

+10.351

5

11

19

Alvaro BAUTISTA

SPA

GO&FUN Honda Gresini

Honda

161.8

+22.149

6

10

35

Cal CRUTCHLOW

GBR

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Yamaha

161.8

+22.301

7

9

38

Bradley SMITH

GBR

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Yamaha

161.3

+30.864

8

8

4

Andrea DOVIZIOSO

ITA

Ducati Team

Ducati

160.4

+45.111

9

7

41

Aleix ESPARGARO

SPA

Power Electronics Aspar

ART

159.4

+59.264

10

6

68

Yonny HERNANDEZ

COL

Ignite Pramac Racing

Ducati

159.3

+1'01.417

11

5

7

Hiroshi AOYAMA

JPN

Avintia Blusens

FTR

159.2

+1'03.665

12

4

14

Randy DE PUNIET

FRA

Power Electronics Aspar

ART

158.5

+1'14.256

13

3

71

Claudio CORTI

ITA

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

FTR Kawasaki

158.0

+1'21.603

14

2

8

Hector BARBERA

SPA

Avintia Blusens

FTR

157.6

+1'27.976

15

1

5

Colin EDWARDS

USA

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

FTR Kawasaki

157.5

+1'29.442

16

9

Danilo PETRUCCI

ITA

Came IodaRacing Project

Ioda-Suter

157.5

+1'29.551

17

23

Luca SCASSA

ITA

Cardion AB Motoracing

ART

156.4

+1'47.930

18

67

Bryan STARING

AUS

GO&FUN Honda Gresini

FTR Honda

156.1

+1'52.927

Not Classified

70

Michael LAVERTY

GBR

Paul Bird Motorsport

ART

155.0

8 Laps

52

Lukas PESEK

CZE

Came IodaRacing Project

Ioda-Suter

154.2

9 Laps

69

Nicky HAYDEN

USA

Ducati Team

Ducati

159.1

12 Laps

50

Damian CUDLIN

AUS

Paul Bird Motorsport

PBM

153.4

13 Laps

29

Andrea IANNONE

ITA

Energy T.I. Pramac Racing

Ducati

160.5

14 Laps

MotoGP Point Standings

1

Marc MARQUEZ

Honda

SPA

298

2

Jorge LORENZO

Yamaha

SPA

255

3

Dani PEDROSA

Honda

SPA

244

4

Valentino ROSSI

Yamaha

ITA

198

5

Cal CRUTCHLOW

Yamaha

GBR

166

6

Alvaro BAUTISTA

Honda

SPA

136

7

Stefan BRADL

Honda

GER

135

8

Andrea DOVIZIOSO

Ducati

ITA

120

9

Nicky HAYDEN

Ducati

USA

102

10

Bradley SMITH

Yamaha

GBR

89

11

Aleix ESPARGARO

ART

SPA

83

12

Michele PIRRO

Ducati

ITA

50

13

Andrea IANNONE

Ducati

ITA

47

14

Colin EDWARDS

FTR Kawasaki

USA

32

15

Hector BARBERA

FTR

SPA

29

16

Randy DE PUNIET

ART

FRA

27

17

Danilo PETRUCCI

Ioda-Suter

ITA

23

18

Yonny HERNANDEZ

Ducati

COL

17

19

Hiroshi AOYAMA

FTR

JPN

13

20

Claudio CORTI

FTR Kawasaki

ITA

11

21

Ben SPIES

Ducati

USA

9

22

Alex DE ANGELIS

Ducati

RSM

5

23

Karel ABRAHAM

ART

CZE

5

24

Michael LAVERTY

PBM

GBR

3

25

Bryan STARING

FTR Honda

AUS

2

26

Javier DEL AMOR

FTR

SPA

1

--From motogp.com

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John Hopkins

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