Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez sealed a one-two victory for the team in the fight against MotoGP title rivals Yamaha in the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Pedrosa, who was taken out of title contention at the last race in Aragon when team-mate Marquez accidentally damaged his traction control system, took his first victory since the Le Mans round earlier in the season to close the gap to Jorge Lorenzo for 2nd in the Rider’s Championship.
However, Marquez needs just seven points from the next race in Australia to seal the title in his maiden season in the class.
Pedrosa made a storming start from the second row along with Lorenzo to take the top two positions at the end of lap one, and when the Honda rider eventually slid past the Yamaha Lorenzo was faced with a fired-up Marquez who was battling to stay in contention with his team-mate.
The fight between the two reached a climax on lap nine when Marquez forced Lorenzo wide at the penultimate corner, leaving the slower Yamaha in his wake as he made his bid to chase down Pedrosa. Earlier on, an aggressive move by Lorenzo saw the two make heavy contact as Valentino Rossi held a watching brief in 4th, but the Italian had no chance to muscle in on the three-way Spanish affair for podium laurels as Lorenzo and Marquez remained hard but fair.
Alvaro Bautista and Cal Crutchlow went into battle for 5th place, with the Briton hanging on valiantly despite a pace disadvantage to take the fight on to the final lap; but it was Bautista who ensured four Spaniards finished in the top five positions. Bradley smith followed his team-mate and compatriot home, but it was a less succesful day for Michael Laverty on his Paul Bird bike as he crashed out at the final corner halfway through the race.
Ducati’s Nicky Hayden and Andrea Iannone also failed to finish, the former after his engine scremed enough early in the Grand Prix.
CLASSIFICATION – RACE – MALAYSIA MOTOGP
|24||Bradl||Honda||Did Not Start|
TOP THREE – RIDERS CHAMPIONSHIP