Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa earned his third win of the year in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. Pedrosa’s teammate, Marc Marquez, crossed the line in second-place followed by Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo in third.
Lorenzo and Pedrosa both got strong starts from the second row, with the Mallorcan taking the front through the opening turns and Pedrosa slotting in just behind. Marquez stayed close in third, as did Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi in fourth. After four laps, Pedrosa made his move on Lorenzo for the front and he remained there unchallenged for the remainder of the race.
“I am very happy with this win, as it is very special,” said Pedrosa. “My level of riding today was very good and the victory comes after a difficult week –in which I was laid up in bed and could hardly move. To come here and win is fantastic, so thanks to all my team! It is a pity about what happened in Aragon, because we had the pace and the same chance of the win as we did here. However, we can’t keep looking back; we need to continue on and try to carry our form into the final races.”
Lorenzo and Marquez waged an aggressive battle for second-place through a number of laps as the race reached mid-point. Marquez made the definitive move on Lap 9 and was able to stretch a gap on the Yamaha rider through the remaining laps. The rookie pushed to close in on Pedrosa briefly after gaining the runner-up spot but decided to hold back and avoid any unnecessary risk. Lorenzo just didn’t have enough to keep pace with Marquez and by the checkers had fallen almost four seconds behind the current points leader. It proved to be an especially disappointing result for Lorenzo as he now feels the title may be well out of reach.
“We were much slower than the others today, especially after three or four laps,” said Lorenzo. “I tried to open a gap at the beginning like always but there was +0 on the board after a couple of laps. When Dani passed I tried to stay with him and also then again when Marc passed me. I tried to pass him some more times to make him nervous but it was impossible, he was much stronger today so we couldn't do much more. To win the championship is almost impossible but I would like to finish second in the championship and win as many races as possible.”
Rossi kept pace with the front runners during the initial stages, but slipped back to run a lonely race in fourth to the finish. Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista held to fifth after a long battle with Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow. Crutchlow’s teammate, Bradley Smith, crossed the line in seventh followed by Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso in eighth. Dovi’s teammate, Nicky Hayden, was forced to retire from the contest when his machine began smoking with engine problems. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro topped the CRT ranks in ninth-place and Ignite Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez rounded out the top-10.
Marquez now enjoys a 43 point lead over Lorenzo. Pedrosa is 11 points behind the Mallorcan in third-place followed by Rossi in fourth.
MotoGP Sepang Results 2013
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
2. Marc Marquez (Honda)
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
5. Alvaro Bautista (Honda)
6. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)
7. Bradley Smith (Yamaha)
8. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
9. Aleix Espargaro (ART)
10. Yonny Hernandez (Ducati)
11. Hiroshi Aoyama (FTR)
12. Randy de Puniet (ART)
13. Claudio Corti (FTR-Kawasaki)
14. Hector Barbera (FTR)
15. Colin Edwards (FTR-Kawasaki)
16. Danilo Petrucci (Ioda-Suter)
17. Luca Scassa (ART)
18. Bryan Staring (FTR-Honda)