Dani Pedrosa bounced back from his dramatic Aragon crash – that has almost put him out of the title fight - to take his third victoryof the season at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia .
Despite carrying a bothersome hip injury picked up during the previous round in Spain, when Marc Marquez made contact with his Honda and disabled the traction control system of his machine, causing him to highside, the veteran Repsol Honda rider, in a show of sheer force, escaped from the clutches of his rivals to take the win by almost three seconds.
Marquez was sitting on pole again -for the 4th consecutive time, and his 8th pole position of the season - but it was Pedrosa who got the holeshot, but Lorenzo barged right past him at turn 2 to take the lead .
However this time Lorenzo’s customary breakaway tactics was of little use, as he was hounded relentlessly by four other riders, but managed to keep them at bay for the first few laps, until Pedrosa passed him at the end of fifth lap and cleared out, uncontested until the chequered flag.
Lorenzo’s attempt to try to re-catch Pedrosa was thwarted by the onslaught of Marquez.
The two became embroiled in a bitter and hard-fought battle over two laps as they swapped positions several times with the Yamaha rider being unusually aggressive, as he even bumped fairings and shoulders with the rookie, who was enjoying the duel after being criticized for his own aggressive riding and being slapped with another penalty point following the Aragon round.
Marquez would eventually make his way past Lorenzo at the halfway stage of the twenty lapper, as the reigning World champion began to fade with tire and braking issues and forced to settle for third place.
Taking second and getting another 20 points extended Marquez’ lead in the championship to 43 points and chance wrap up the title at Phillip Island this upcoming weekend, and become the first rookie to win the MotoGP crown in 35 years.
Valentino Rossi once again completed the top four, after holding off the initial advances of Alvaro Bautista and narrowly escaping an incident, when the Gresini rider overshot a turn and narrowly missing him as he ran wide.
Once loosing contact with Rossi, Bautista fell into the hands of a suffering Cal Crutchlow and the two became embroiled in a hot battle for fifth, with the Spaniard managing to beat the Tech 3 Yamaha rider on the final lap.
Bradley Smith rode to a lonely 7th followed by Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso in 8th.
It was another bad round for the Italian manufacturer, as they saw both factory rider Nicky Hayden and satellite rider Andrea Iannone having to retire with technical issues on their respective GP13s.
CRT leader Aleix Espargaro took 9th and closing out the top ten was Pramac Ducati's Yonny Hernandez.
The MotoGP Championship now heads to Australia for the second of three flyaway back-to-back races.
2013 MotoGP Sepang Race Results:
- 01- Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC213V – 20 laps in 40’45.191
- 02- Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC213V – + 2.757
- 03- Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 6.669
- 04- Valentino Rossi – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 10.351
- 05- Alvaro Bautista – GO&FUN Honda Gresini – Honda RC213V – + 22.149
- 06- Cal Crutchlow – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 22.301
- 07- Bradley Smith – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 30.864
- 08- Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 45.111
- 09- Aleix Espargaro – Power Electronics Aspar – ART GP13 – + 59.264
- 10- Yonny Hernandez – Ignite Pramac Racing – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 1’01.417
- 11- Hiroshi Aoyama – Avintia Blusens – BQR FTR – + 1’03.665
- 12- Randy De Puniet – Power Electronics Aspar – ART GP13 – + 1’14.256
- 13- Claudio Corti – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR Kawasaki – + 1’21.603
- 14- Hector Barbera – Avintia Blusens – BQR FTR – + 1’27.976
- 15- Colin Edwards – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR Kawasaki – + 1’29.442
- 16- Danilo Petrucci – CAME Iodaracing Project – Ioda Suter BMW – + 1’29.551
- 17- Luca Scassa – Cardion AB Motoracing – ART GP13 – + 1’47.930
- 18- Bryan Staring – GO&FUN Honda Gresini – FTR Honda MGP13 – + 1’52.927