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Oct 25, 2015

FIM MotoGP World Championship Race Results From Sepang

Sepang International Circuit.

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

October 25, 2015

Race Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 20 laps, 40:37.691

2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), -3.612 seconds

3. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), -13.724

4. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), -23.995

5. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (HONDA), -28.721

6. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (DUCATI), -36.372

7. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (SUZUKI), -39.290

8. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (SUZUKI), -39.436

9. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (YAMAHA), -42.462

10. Stefan BRADL, Germany (APRILIA), -44.601

11. Scott REDDING, UK (HONDA), -47.690

12. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (DUCATI), -52.112

13. Hector BARBERA, Spain (DUCATI), -52.360, started from the back of the grid due to penalty

14. Toni ELIAS, Spain (YAMAHA), -53.619

15. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (APRILIA), -53.631

16. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (HONDA), -61.431

17. Jack MILLER, Australia (HONDA), -62.828

18. Mike DI MEGLIO, France (DUCATI), -65.075

19. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (HONDA), -69.877

20. Anthony WEST, Australia (HONDA), -84.749

21. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), -10 laps, DNF, crash

22. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), -13 laps, DNF, crash

23. Loris BAZ, France (YAMAHA), -18 laps, DNF, crash

24. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), -19 laps, DNF, retired

25. Damian CUDLIN, Australia (ART-APRILIA), -20 laps, DNF, crash


World Championship Point Standings (after 17 of 18 races):

1. Rossi, 312 points

2. Lorenzo, 305

3. Marquez, 222

4. Pedrosa, 190

5. Iannone, 188

6. Smith, 171

7. Dovizioso, 153

8. Crutchlow, 118

9. Petrucci, 107

10. Pol Espargaro, 103

11. Aleix Espargaro, 97

12. Vinales, 92

13. Redding, 83

14. Hernandez, 53

15. Barbera, 33

16. Bautista, 29

17. Baz, 28

18. TIE, Bradl/Miller, 17

20. Hayden, 16

21. Laverty, 9

22. TIE, Katsuyuki Nakasuga/Michele Pirro/Di Meglio, 8

25. Hiroshi Aoyama, 5

26. Takumi Takahashi, 4

27. TIE, Elias/Alex De Angelis, 2



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Pedrosa wins in Sepang as championship fight takes an incredible twist

Dani Pedrosa took his second victory in three races ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, but Rossi will be forced to start from back of the grid in Valencia after a dramatic clash with Marc Marquez.

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa rode a brilliant race at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix to take his 51st GP victory in front of 88,000 fans, with Jorge Lorenzo finishing ahead of his title rival Rossi to reduce the Doctor’s lead in the standings to just 7 points with one race left. Pedrosa led from flag to flag to win by 3.612s in hot and humid conditions (track temp. 47°C) at the Sepang International Circuit, but his victory was overshadowed by an incredible clash between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez that saw the latter crash out. Race Direction reviewed the incident after the race and awarded Rossi three penalty points and he will be forced to start the final race of the season from the back of the grid due to the accumulation of a total of 4 points (1 from Misano and one from this event).

Pole man Pedrosa enjoyed a brilliant start and led into turn 1 from his teammate Marquez and Rossi. Lorenzo, who was starting from 4th, dropped back to sixth in the first corner but recovered to put an incredible double pass on the Ducati Team GP15’s of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone. He then set his sights on the man he trailed by 11 points in the standings before the race began, catching Rossi and making a move at the start of the second lap into turn 1.

On lap 3 Marquez ran wide at turn 15 allowing Lorenzo into second, and suddenly Marquez had fallen into the grasp of Rossi in 4th. The atmosphere in the sold out grandstands became electric as Rossi was up against the man he had accused of trying to help Lorenzo win the title.

While Pedrosa and Lorenzo focused on opening up a gap on their teammates at the front, Rossi and Marquez became embroiled in one of the battles of the season. The two riders overtook each other it seemed, at almost every corner allowing the two men at the front to disappear off into the distance. While Pedrosa was managing the gap at the front beautifully, Lorenzo had opened up a lead of 2.7s over Marquez in third by lap seven.

Then came one of the most sensational moments of the year, as Rossi once again passed Marquez for third at turn 10 on lap seven. Marquez immediately fought back through turns 11 & 12 with Rossi then responding through turn 13 before appearing to run Marquez wide on the exit of turn 14 and making contact with the Spaniard. Marquez crashed out as a result and was forced to retire in an incident that left the reigning MotoGP™ champion fuming and one which will be reviewed by Race Direction. The incident could have huge implications on deciding where the 2015 title ends up with Rossi forced to start from the back of the grid at Valencia. It will go down in history as one of the most sensational pieces of drama in the history of MotoGP™ and will forever be remembered as the #SepangClash.

While all of this was going on Lorenzo in second had managed to open up a 5.6s gap to Rossi, something that try as he might, Rossi could not make an impact on. After all of the early drama, the rest of the race seemed almost an anti-climax.

At the front Pedrosa had managed his tyres and pace perfectly, extending his advantage on almost every lap. He went on to take his second win of the season by over three and half seconds from Lorenzo, who made it four podiums in a row and 11 for the season by finishing in second. Rossi crossed the line in 3rd a further 10 seconds behind Lorenzo, but will have an incredible fight on his hands to lift his tenth title at Valencia after the penalty. Rossi also decided not to attend the post-race Press Conference.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith pulled off a superb result, crossing the line in fourth after he started from 9th on the grid. He had enjoyed a great battle with his compatriot Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda for the honours of leading Satellite rider. Smith eventually got the better of the Honda when Cal ran wide at turn 15 with 9 laps to go, with Smith eventually crossing the line almost 5 seconds ahead of Crutchlow in fourth. Crutchlow’s fifth was his best result since his fourth placed finish at the Catalan GP, and means he has finished seventh or higher in the last four races.

Octo Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci pulled off his best MotoGP™ result in the dry as he finished in sixth. Aleix Espargaro won the battle of the Suzuki’s as he beat his rookie teammate Maverick Viñales to seventh by just over a tenth of a second. It was Espargaro’s 11th top ten finish of the season, while Viñales followed up his career best result of sixth at Phillip Island with seventh.

Pol Espargaro crossed the line in ninth despite having to race with severe pain in his neck after a crash in Warm Up caused by Hector Barbera. The Spaniard had to be assessed moments before lining up on the grid, but was passed fit. Stefan Bradl completed the top ten, his best result since he made his debut for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini at Indianapolis.

EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Scott Redding was eleventh, ahead of Octo Pramac Racing ‘s Yonny Hernandez in 12th. Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera took the Open victory despite being forced to start form the back of the grid. The Spaniard had put in his best qualifying performance of the season to start from eighth, but was issued a penalty point for causing the crash with Pol Espargaro in Warm Up which meant, after accruing 4 this season, he had to start from the back of the grid.

American Nicky Hayden (Aspar MotoGP Team) was 16th as the leading Open Honda ahead of Australian Jack Miller (LCR Honda) in 17th, with Eugene Laverty (Aspar MotoGP Team) finishing in 19th.

This means that as it stands, Valentino Rossi leads the MotoGP™ World Championship with 312 points compared to Lorenzo’s 305, with just the Valencia GP left on the 8th of November.

Zarco makes it 8 wins for the season

Johann Zarco times his charge perfectly to take his eighth victory and 14th podium of the season after a race long duel with Luthi.

Ajo Motorsport’s 2015 Moto2™ World Champion Johann Zarco judged the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix to perfection to win in Sepang and equal the record of Marc Marquez (2012) and Tito Rabat (2014) with 14 podiums in an intermediate season. The Frenchman denied Derendinger Racing Interwetten’s Thomas Luthi his second win of the season on the last lap by just 0.598s, with Jonas Folger on the AGR Team Kalex completing the podium a further nine seconds back.

It was Luthi starting from pole that led the way into turn 1, although Zarco made a move on the Swiss rider at turn 4. Luthi re-took the lead at the end of the first lap at the final corner and then set about creating a gap at the front, with Zarco in hot pursuit.

These two opened up a lead over the rest and Luthi appeared to be managing the gap perfectly, by lap 11 it was up to a second. Zarco fought back to reduce this to 0.5s with 7 laps remaining, but Luthi got the hurry up signal from his pit board and responded, so the gap was back up to a second with 4 laps left.

Just when it looked like Luthi had the race in the bag, Zarco attacked. The gap was down to 0.2s when the two riders crossed the line to start the final lap, as Zarco appeared to have much better edge grip on his tyres. He made his move for the lead at turn 2 and went on to take his 10th career GP victory by over half a second. Luthi's second place finish was his third podium of the season and saw him leapfrog Jonas Folger into fifth in the standings.

Folger had been involved in a battle for third with Paginas Amarillas HP40’s Alex Rins before the latter crashed out at turn 9 on lap 10, which left Folger with a lonely ride to third for his fourth podium of 2015.

Idemitsu Honda Team Asia’s Takaaki Nakagami made it back-to-back fourth places with Forward Racing’s Lorenzo Baldassarri following up his first podium at Phillip Island with fifth.

Paginas Amarillas Luis Salom came on strong late on in the race to cross the line in sixth, just four-tenths ahead of Sandro Cortese on the Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex in seventh.

Local rider Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) rode brilliantly from 18th on the grid to finish in eighth, with Simone Corsi (Forward Racing) and Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completing the top ten.

Speed Up Racing’s Sam Lowes was running in 7th when he appeared to have issues, and started dropping down the order like a stone, before recovering towards the end. The Brit eventually crossed the line in 13th.

There were also crashes for Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3) while EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Tito Rabat missed the Malaysian GP to allow him to focus on recovering from the broken radius in his left arm.

Oliveira wins to take title fight to Valencia

Miguel Oliveira takes his fifth win of the season in an incredibly dramatic Moto3 race as title rival Kent crosses the line in 7th.

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Oliveira pulled off a sensational last-lap victory at the Shell Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix to ensure that the 2015 Moto3™ World Championship battle will go down to the wire. In an incredibly dramatic finish, his title rival Danny Kent ran wide at the last corner and crossed the line in 7th, which means the Brit was denied the title but he will take a 24-point lead into the final round at Valencia. Oliveira’s teammate Brad Binder and Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Jorge Navarro completed the podium.

Starting from third on the gird, Oliveira was involved in an excellent battle at the front between Binder, Navarro, Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold), Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46), Francesco Bagnaia (Mapfre Team Mahindra) and Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC).

Kent on the other hand, after his three-place grid penalty relegated him to ninth at the start, dropped down to 16th in the opening laps and looked to be struggling. Slowly but surely and despite a number of riders crashing in front of him – including his two teammates Hiroki Ono and Efren Vazquez - Kent started to make his way through the field and by lap 9 he was on the back wheel of the seventh placed Antonelli.

As the laps ticked down, the lead swapped hands repeatedly at the front due to the slipstream effect down the two long straights at the Sepang International Circuit. Kent knew he just had to finish in fifth and even if Oliveira won, he would be crowned the first British World Champion Since Barry Sheene won the 500cc title in 1977.

With three laps to go, Bagnaia crashed out and Kent was up to 6th. Then, on the penultimate lap Kent made a move on Antonelli to secure fifth, and at this point the title looked to be his. As the started the final lap, Kent made a move on Fenati at turn 1, but left himself exposed to Antonelli who re-took the vital fifth place. Kent fought back at turn 4, but Antonelli responded at turn 9. It was all going to comedown to the final two straights and the infamous turn 15.

This was the point when Oliveira timed it perfectly to make his move for the race win on his teammate Binder at the very last corner. Would Kent get past Antonelli to become champion? The answer was incredibly no. Kent ran wide at the final corner and eventually crossed the line in seventh, missing out on the title. Now this championship will be decided in Valencia.

Oliveira's victory was his third in the last 5 races, during which he hasn’t finished lower than second. In the same 5 races, Kent has two sixth placed finishes, one seventh and two DNF’s.

Binder rode superbly to claim his fourth podium of the year, ahead of Navarro who was on the podium for the third time in the last four races. Antonelli made it back-to-back fourth places, while Romano Fenati pulled off his best result since Aragon in fifth.

Kornfeil kept the fans happy by crossing the line in sixth at his team’s home grand prix, with Championship leader Kent missing out on his third chance to the lift the title this season in seventh. It was Kent’s worst finish since he achieved the same result at Brno.

Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Team Moto3) led home the chasing group, over four seconds behind Kent in 8th. SAXOPRINT RTG teammates Alexis Masbou and John McPhee completed the podium.

In the Moto3™ standings Kent now has 253 points to Oliveira’s 229, which means Kent needs just two points at Valencia to become champion even if Oliveira wins. For Oliveira to pull off an incredible fight back and lift the title he needs to win and Kent has to be 15th or lower.

There were crashes for local hero Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Manuel Pagliani, Karel Hanika and Darryn Binder.

Fabio Quartararo missed the whole race weekend due to injury and Alessandro Tonucci was declared unfit after a crash in FP2, while Andrea Locatelli withdrew from the weekend after FP1 due to pain from his injured coccyx.




More, from a press release issued by Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS:

Points for Redding in incident packed Malaysian encounter

Sepang, Malaysia – 25 October 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider, Scott Redding, secured his eighth successive points scoring finish with 11th place in the heat and humidity of Malaysia.

With both air and track temperatures rising considerably ahead of the 20-Lap MotoGP race, Redding struggled with a lack of front grip from the start. As the 22-year-old Briton pushed to stay in contact with the group ahead of him the problem worsened, with Redding unable to get the bike stopped in the slower corners, as the front started to slide.

After a number of close calls with the front closing on him in the corners, Redding opted to ease off, preferring to finish and pick up more points rather than falling foul of the greasy track conditions and bringing his race to a premature end in the gravel.

Scott Redding: 11th

“It was a hard race because I was struggling with front grip from the start. I was trying to push to stay on the back of the group ahead of me, but I kept closing the front and if the rear had grip it was pushing the front as well. I was also struggling to stop the bike in the slower corners because the front was sliding and I lost contact. That made it harder because I was alone for most of the race. But, the fact that we finished is a big positive. I used to struggle here in Sepang, but to have no real problems with the heat and humidity today is good for my confidence. A tough race and one in which I was happy to see the chequered flag.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

“Our goal was to finish in the top ten, like always, but we missed out once again by just one place today. It’s not what we wanted, but we know that this is one of Scott’s least favourite tracks, so we can be relatively satisfied with the result given the problems he encountered in the race, while hoping for better next time in the final race of the season, and Scott’s last race for the team, in Valencia.”



More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:

APRILIA, BEST RACE OF THE SEASON WITH STEFAN BRADL FINISHING TENTH. ALVARO BAUTISTA ALSO FINISHES IN THE POINTS

ROMANO ALBESIANO: “WE ARE IMPROVING AND WE ARE CONFIDENT FOR NEXT SEASON”

Sepang (Malaysia), 25 October 2015 - With a nice weekend that he had begun during practice and qualifiers, Stefan Bradl rode his Aprilia RS-GP to a tenth place finish on the demanding Sepang track. Bautista also, despite problems with poor grip, finished in the points to contribute to the best weekend of the season for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini which finished the race taking tenth and fifteenth place.

After a very good start - Bradl moved into eighth on the first lap and Bautista fourteenth - the two riders joined the central group. After finding his pace in tenth place, Stefan battled skilfully, holding onto his position and finishing just behind the group that was battling for positions up to seventh place. Alvaro, with grip progressively worsening, was forced to give up fourteenth place just before the wire, in any case earning one championship point.

ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)

“We are very pleased. This was our very best race of the year with the overall performance of both riders and for Stefan’s work in practice and especially in the race, where he took a brilliant placement, above all staying close to the second group and also staying ahead of some very talented rivals. It was a shame about Alvaro who was unable to solve his grip problems throughout the weekend. I’m thinking back to our first tests on this track and I can see that our bike has improved a lot. We have two excellent riders and all of this makes us confident for next season.”

FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)

“Stefan rode an incredible race. He really did well. We took a well deserved tenth place finish, especially since we crossed the wire very close the group of riders ahead of us. This is very satisfying and, thinking back over our progress, performance that shows just how far we have come in less than a year. Today we saw an important race which, besides Stefan’s good finish, had Alvaro finishing in the points despite some more difficulties compared to his team mate.”

STEFAN BRADL

“First of all I’d like to thank the team, Romano Albesiano and Fausto Gresini for believing in me and giving me this chance, especially after the disappointing first half of my season. I had already shown my potential various times in practice, but it took just a bit more time to come up with a concrete race result. Throughout the weekend everything went very well. We were able to find a good setup from the start and the entire team worked very well, as always. It’s nice to have been able to give them a good result in return, which they definitely deserve. It was a very long race for me. At the beginning I could have been very fast, but not enough to follow the riders ahead of me, so once I found myself on my own it was hard to stay focused and manage the gap over my rivals. I’m very happy. Finally a good race result!”

ALVARO BAUTISTA

“This was a hard race for me because I wasn’t able to find the right setup. We tested a lot of things but I was never able to find a good feeling, so from this point of view it was the most difficult race yet. I also got off the line well but the front end kept closing up going into turns and when the tyres started to wear I had big problems with grip. It’s a shame because in recent races things had gone rather well. But now I want to thank the team for all the hard work they did for me and congratulate Stefan who had a great weekend and was very competitive in the race as well.”



More, from a press release issued by Avintia Racing:

Open win for Barbera although starting from the back of the grid

25/10/15 Avintia Racing MotoGP -Grand Prix of Malaysia - RACE

Following the happiness on Saturday, after going straight to Q2 with the fifth fastest lap time, and finishing tenth in qualifying, this morning everything webt wrong for Hector Barbera. He had a contact with Pol Espargaro during the warm up session, both riders fail down, and Barbera got one penalty point and, with four, he was forced to start the race from the last spot of the grid. But the Avintia Racing rider kept calmed and after making a new plan for the race, he recover during the race and eventually finished 13th, and celebrated his seventh victory of the season in the Open Class. This was a great way to finish the overseas triple in Japan, Australia and Malaysia and leave with five points advantage with Loris Baz. IN two week the Open Class title will resume at Valencia.

The race was better that practice and qualifying for Mike Di Meglio and after doing several changes on his bike, he was able to fight with some riders during the race. But it was not so easy fro the French rider who struggled electronics problems in the middle of the race.

HECTOR BARBERA #8 / 13th (P1 Open) @HectorBarbera

I’m really happy, we finish this overseas triple in the parc ferme for the fifth of six possible times, so overall, I think we did a good job. We are fighting for the Open Class MotoGP Championship, maybe it is not so important for the media and the fans, but we all race with the same electronics and many of my rivals as Hayden, Elias or Di Meglio are World Champions. My team gave the 100% today as I was in the back of the grid after the incident with Pol Espargaro this morning. When you start last, you have to overtake some rider and the tyre life is shorter, so the strategy or the race was completely different that the one we had planned when we were tenth. But this 13th position, after being fifth in free practice and tenth on the grid yesterday, is to be proud of. And the last race will be at my home circuit, where I’ll have the support of the crowd to win this championship.

MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 / 18th (P5 Open) @Mikejpp63

We changed a number of things on the bike before the race, and it was a big risk because we didn’t test it before. But finally we made the right bet and the feeling during the race was much better than yesterday. My start was not bad, but not brilliant, I lost some time after passing Laverty, but suddenly when I wanted to use the electronics the dashboard was in black… After seven laps started to work again and I was able to recover the gap with Miller and Hayden, but then I had two moments and I decided to finish the race. Overall it was a good weekend.



More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Unstoppable Pedrosa takes dominant victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix

Round 17: Malaysian MotoGP™ - Race

Sepang, Sunday 25 October 2015

Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft & Hard (Symmetric) & Medium (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds: Hard (Main) & Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 35-35°C; Track 48-50°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa converted his record-breaking pace in qualifying into a race winning performance at today’s Malaysian Grand Prix, the Spaniard scoring his second victory from the last three races.

Starting on pole position, Pedrosa got the holeshot to lead into the first corner and led for the entirety of the race, his overall race time setting a new record for the Malaysian Grand Prix, beating the old mark by over seven seconds. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi finished in second and third place respectively, the result meaning that Lorenzo closes the gap to his teammate to just seven points with just one round left to decide the 2015 MotoGP™ World Champion.

Race day at the Malaysian Grand Prix experienced similar weather to the previous two days of the race weekend, with hot, humid conditions. The peak track temperature during the race was 50°C, a figure only slightly warmer than yesterday afternoon and as a result, tyre choice was largely the same as seen in Free Practice 4. The medium compound front slick was used by every single rider for the race except for Octo Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez, who selected the hard compound front slick instead. Rear tyre choice saw the majority of riders selecting the medium compound rear slick, with sixteen of the riders choosing this option, while the remaining nine entrants opted for the soft compound rear slick. Tyre performance over the twenty laps of the Malaysian Grand Prix was exceptional, with Lorenzo setting a new Sepang Circuit Record Lap time of 2'00.606, beating the old mark by over half a second, while three other riders also set personal best lap times quicker than the old record.

Rossi holds a seven point lead in the championship standings over Lorenzo heading into the season finale at Valencia in two weeks’ time. However, Race Direction has given Rossi a penalty following an incident with Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez, meaning he will start from the back of the grid in Valencia. Marquez holds onto third place in the championship standings on 222 points despite suffering his fifth DNF of the season today.

Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

“Dani showed his amazing talent in the way he dominated the race today, so congratulations to both him and Honda on a thoroughly deserved victory. This race will be talked about for years to come and is yet another exciting chapter in what has been one of the most closely followed MotoGP seasons in years. We had a record race-day crowd of 88,832 at Sepang today and we are all set for a spectacular season finale in front of a sold-out Valencia circuit in a fortnight’s time. It was also an incredible Grand Prix for Bridgestone as all three Sepang records, the Circuit Best Lap, Circuit Record Lap and overall race time records were beaten by huge margins. It has been a busy three week period for our staff, but we head to the last race of the season in high spirits as we look to end our MotoGP adventure in the best way possible.”

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department

“We had a dry race today with similar conditions to yesterday, so tyre choice was largely as we expected with the medium compound front and rear slicks being by far the most popular choice. After the outright lap record for Sepang was broken yesterday, we could see that the riders were able to ride at a very quick pace during the race on our 2015 specification tyres, with a new race lap record and overall race time being set. Overall it was a good weekend for Bridgestone and we now look forward to finishing the season on another positive note at Valencia.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner

“It was a really tough race physically, as the conditions were extremely hot and the track is very demanding. All weekend my pace was very good so I think my team did a good job and I’m happy that I could win the race and share it with them and all my supporters. We are progressing well and I’m very happy with the victory today and I’ll try to finish the season in the same way.”



More, from a press release issued by Forward Racing:

First points of the season for Elias at Sepang

It was a race with two faces the one that has just ended at the Sepang International Circuit for the Forward Racing team. Toni Elias, in fact, today scored his first points in the championship riding a Yamaha Forward crossing the finishing line in 14th place, while Loris Baz was forced to retire two laps after the start.

Elias, 21th on the grid, after struggling at the start to find the right pace, became the protagonist of a good recovery fighting for most of the race with Laverty, Miller and Hayden, his rivals in the Open category. In the last lap he was 15th when he overtook Bautista before the final straight.

Most difficult race instead for Loris Baz, confident for the race after the progresses made yesterday in the free practices and 20th on the grid. The Frenchman, after a good start, crashed in the first corner of the second lap and he was forced to retire.

Loris Baz:

"Unfortunately my race ended earlier than I expected. I have not a bad start, but at the first corner of the second lap I found myself on the tarmac without being able to do anything. It is a shame: I have lost the possibility of recover some points in the standings, but I remain confident for the last race in Valencia”.

Toni Elias:

"I'm really happy with this result and the points. I rode this bike for the first time just a month ago and after a lot of work I managed to reach my goal. I did not start well, but since the first laps I was able to set a good pace and I recovered several positions. I fought with Laverty and then I overtook Miller and Hayden. In the last lap I was with Bautista and before the straight I passed him. Thanks to all the team for their hard work, Giovanni for this wonderful opportunity to get back in MotoGP, my family and sponsors for their support”.



More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Disappointing Shell Malaysia Grand Prix for Ducati Team as Iannone and Dovizioso retire at Sepang

Both Ducati Team men were forced to retire from the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the 2015 season, which was held today at the Sepang International Circuit.

Andrea Iannone, who started from sixth place on row 2, suffered a setback immediately after the start, when a stone holed the radiator of his Desmosedici GP15 and the Italian had to stop on lap 2.

Andrea Dovizioso, who started from row 3 with seventh quickest time, powered away well from the grid and crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in fifth place. The Italian maintained that position until lap 6 and then moved up one place on the following lap after Marquez crashed out. Andrea stayed in fourth place for four laps, but on lap 11 he crashed following a contact with Crutchlow, who was trying to overtake him.

After these results, Iannone drops to fifth place in the overall standings, two points behind Pedrosa, while Dovizioso remains in seventh place behind Smith.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – DNF

“Today the conditions were very difficult, because it was really hot and it was not possible to push as hard as we did in practice. I was trying to manage the situation in order to get to the flag in a good condition. Crutchlow tried to pass me in the change of direction between Turns 5 and 6 but he was not able to control his bike and made me lose the front. I know Cal well and I’m sure he didn’t do it deliberately, but he caused me a lot of damage and in the championship we lost too many points from Smith. It was a real pity, because even with these extreme conditions we could have taken home a good result.”

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – DNF

“I’m really disappointed because for the second time this season I had a problem with the bike at an important moment for me, seeing as I am fighting for fourth place in the championship. Here there was a chance of doing a good race, because this morning in the warm-up the bike was going well. Probably at the start a rider ahead of me threw up a stone which hit and holed the radiator. For sure it’s not an ideal situation to go to Valencia two points down on Pedrosa: it will be tough to fight for fourth place, but that remains my goal and I will try my hardest to achieve it.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)

“Despite a few problems in practice, we managed to find a good set-up for both our riders and as a result we were confident we could do a good race. Unfortunately Iannone had to stop immediately with a hole in his radiator, caused by a stone at the start, while Dovizioso was having a good race in fourth place until he crashed after making contact with Crutchlow. It was a pity because also here in Malaysia both of our riders could have scored some useful points for the championship.”



More, from a press release issued by OCTO Pramac Racing:

Malaysian GP - Stunning Petrux: 6th at the end of a perfect race. Yonny finishes 12°

OCTO Pramac Racing Team finishes the Shell Malaysian GP celebrating the fabulous sixth place of Danilo Petrucci, protagonist of a fantastic race. Positive news from Yonny Hernandez

who gritted his teeth and took home a precious 12th after the difficulties of the last two days

Following a very good start, Petrux managed to recover three positions in the first lap before passing Bradl (3rd lap) and fighting with Aleix Espargaro for the ninth position. Danilo's race pace have increased consistently and after 8 laps he succeded to overtake Pol Espargaro. Petrux set out to catch his brother Aleix and in one lap he managed to recover nearly a second to score the winning attack on the straight. The Spaniard tried to get back but Petrux showed a great physical condition as well as a deep concentration repelling the attack to end sixth without troubles under the checkered flag.

The start of Yonny Hernandez was rather difficult due to a contact which made him lose precious positions. The rider from Medellin turned 21th at the first corner but he managed to avoid mistakes beginning a comeback which led him to overtake Hayden to stand in fifteenth position. With six laps to go the fight won with Barbera and Bautista. Even in the last laps Yonny turned strong setting his top speed (327 km/ h, fourth top speed after Pedrosa, Dovizioso and Marrquez). Unfortunately Redding was too far away for the assault to the eleventh place.

With 10 points scored in Sepang, Danilo rises to 107 point in the World Championship ranking consolidating his ninth place.

Yonny takes 4 points which lead him to 53 in the ranking (14th place)

OCTO Pramac Racing is sixth in the team standings with 160 points.

Malaysian GP - Stunning Petrux: 6th at the end of a perfect race. Yonny finishes 12°

6° - Danilo Petrucci - OCTO Pramac Racing Team #9

It was the hardest race of my career but I managed to do well and this makes me very happy. I would like to dedicate this result to the team for the work they did during the weekend and also in the whole season. The start was good and when I saw that the others in front did not go away, I decided to push. I struggled with the two Espargaro who were faster in the twisty parto of the circuit but I was stronger in breaking areas. I'm really happy with this result. Now we go to Valencia with more margin to win the Top 10 in the World Championship.

12° - Yonny Hernandez - OCTO Pramac Racing Team #68

After a difficult start, I tried to push throughout the race although the conditions were not the best. My goal was to bring home some points. This is not my the best race, but it's nice to have won these four points. I went on the track with hard tires and it was difficult especially in braking areas as the circuit was a very slippery. I had to work a lot with the throttle to try to extend life of the rear tire for the final part of the race. And it was a good strategy.



More, from a press release issued by Aspar Team:

POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar pair outside the points in Sepang race

Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty struggle for grip in Malaysian heat, finishing sixteenth and nineteenth respectively

The Malaysian Grand Prix had been simmering since Thursday and today it hit boiling point in a moment of controversy that will dominate sporting headlines around the world tonight. Pedrosa, Márquez and Rossi started from the front row at Sepang, poleman Pedrosa getting the perfect start to leaving feuding trio Rossi, Lorenzo and Márquez in his wake. Lorenzo made an early pass on Rossi at the start of the second lap before going on to clock a new record of 2'00.606 and then passing Márquez for second place. With Rossi and Márquez now locked together in an intense battle for third, the pair came close to making contact on several occasions before a clash on the seventh lap saw the Spaniard crash out. With Pedrosa and Lorenzo clear at the front, Rossi rode home to a lonely third but he was later hit by a penalty from Race Direction that will see him start from the back of the grid in a final-round title decider at Valencia.

The race panned out differently for the two POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders although they finished with very similar results. Nicky Hayden made a strong start and had advanced several positions on the opening laps before he was forced to back off after several front-end scares. As his fuel load lightened towards the end of the race the American was able to make a pass on Miller and claim sixteenth position. His team-mate Eugene Laverty, who has shown good form in the hotter afternoon conditions of free practice, did not have the same feeling in the race today and he struggled to make an impact, crossing the line in nineteenth position.

16th Nicky Hayden: "Another sixteenth place finish! I don't know how many of those I've had this year but way too many. I expected a little something better today for sure. I got an okay start, got roughed up a little on the first lap, which was my fault, and then I started picking some guys off. I felt like I was on the limit on the front but I was making some passes and doing some decent lap times. Then I had one big moment on the front and then another one and eventually I had to slow down or else there was no way I was going to finish. Some of the guys came back past me and it was heartbreaking to see them get away. It was a long race but as the fuel load went down, over the last three laps I was able to do some decent lap times again and get back in front of Jack [Miller] and pull a little gap on him. Unfortunately the gap to the rest was already too big to make up, so that was that."

19th Eugene Laverty: "To be honest I thought I could be racing in the 2'03s today but there was no grip, we were on ice out there. I could see Nicky and Jack ahead of me and the gap to them stayed consistent but I'd lost so much in the early laps I couldn't get back to them. I am disappointed. So far this weekend in the cooler conditions in the morning the other guys have been fast, and then in the afternoon heat I have been faster. Unfortunately the track conditions today were completely different to the past two days and I didn't have the same feeling at all."



More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:

ESPARGARO AND VIÑALES TOP- EIGHT IN MALAYSIA

The tough circuit of Sepang proved to be not so hard for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and although the results of today’s race did not completely satisfy the riders in terms of final positions, their performances compared to the February test were much more positive and gave valuable information to the development team.

Aleix Espargaro started from 10th place on the grid after the crash in Qualifying that prevented him making a second attempt with his timed attack, but he had a good start and recovered some positions at the very beginning of the race. This allowed him to keep contact with the top-10 group and fight further. After half the race, he encountered grip problems on the rear, which prevented him from keeping up his pace, finishing his race in seventh place after a strong battle with his team-mate on the last two laps.

Maverick Viñales, on the other hand, didn’t make such a good start and lost many positions before the first corner, making his race much harder. Lap-after-lap he found more confidence and set a fast race-pace, recovering many positions across to 10th place. Towards the final part of the race his pace was good, allowing him to catch-up to his team-mate, even if at the end he had to resign himself to eighth place.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“I think that for some reasons this race has been positive for us. We were expecting this circuit to be very tough for us but at the end it was not bad to end P7 and P8; a little worse is the distance from the winner. We still miss something in our performance, but we made some very big steps forward compared to the test we made here in February. We suffered from the two long straights but we did very well in the other sectors, which means we have an effective machine in some areas. At the same time we are aware that we still need to improve our weaknesses, the R&D department in Japan is already working hard for the new bike and all this experience is crucial for us.”

Aleix Espargaro:

Final position: 7th

“It’s good that we got some points but at the end of the day, I’m not so happy for the race, it is true that this circuit was not easy for us but I have the feeling I could have gained a better result after the progress we have made so far. Of course the qualifying penalised us, starting from behind is never easy and I couldn’t overtake in the early laps. With a full tank and jammed in the middle group I couldn’t find the best performance nor take my preferred lines, so I struggled to find a consistent pace. It’s a pity; I could have had a better race-pace and fight for a better position. Now we go to Valencia, the track is tight and maybe more favourable for us, so I hope we’ll get a better feeling and find a better result.”

Maverick Viñales:

Final position: 8th

“The start was the key of today’s race. Unfortunately I couldn’t do so well as when the lights went out, suddenly many riders overtook me. I lost many positions and when this happens it is always very hard to recover. Then I found a good pace, even if I still suffered with rear grip. I’m disappointed with the result, we knew this track was hard for us but then in practice we found a good performance, therefore our expectations for the race was better than this. Let’s see in Valencia, I think that the work we are doing is positive and will take us to the point where we deserve to be.”



More, from a press release issued by FIM and Dorna:

Race Direction Notification of Sanction: Valentino Rossi

Dear all,

Please find attached in PDF format the notification of Sanction for MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi for irresponsible riding causing a crash to another rider during the race.

Valentino Rossi has been sanctioned with 3 Penalty Points. Since he already had 1 previous penalty point, the sanction for accumulating 4 penalty points is to start the race from the back of the grid.

Thus Valentino Rossi will start the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana from the last position of the grid.

Notification of Sanction:

RACE DIRECTION

NOTIFICATION OF SANCTION

To: Mr. Valentino Rossi, Rider No. 46 of the MotoGP Class.

Dear Sir,

According to Article 3.5.5 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations, we confirm our decision.

Motive

On 25th October 2015 during the MotoGP race of the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, you deliberately ran wide on Turn 14 in order to force another rider off line, resulting in contact causing the other rider to crash.

This is considered to be irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors and is therefore an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.

Convocation

You were requested to attend a Race Direction hearing. Both riders involved were present at the hearing, both gave testimony, and video evidence was reviewed.

Decision

For the above motive, Race Direction has decided to impose on you the addition of 3 penalty points on your record, according to Article 3.2.1. of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Disciplinary and Arbitration Code.



More, from another press release issued by FIM and Dorna:

Decision of the Race Direction

MotoGP Race: #46 Valentino Rossi

On 25th October 2015 during the MotoGP race of the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, rider #46 Valentino Rossi deliberately ran wide on Turn 14 in order to force another rider off line, resulting in contact causing the other rider to crash.

This is considered to be irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors and is therefore an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.

Valentino Rossi was requested to attend a Race Direction hearing. Both riders involved were present at the hearing, both gave testimony, and video evidence was reviewed.

The decision of the Race Direction is to impose on rider #46 the addition of 3 penalty points on your record, according to Article 3.2.1. of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Disciplinary and Arbitration Code. Valentino Rossi lodged an appeal with the FIM Stewards against the decision of the Race Direction. He was requested to attend another hearing with the FIM Stewards.

The FIM Stewards unanimously confirmed the Penalty Imposed by the Race Direction.

According to Art. 3.4.2.2 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations no further appeal may be lodged when FIM Stewards confirm the previous decision of the Race Direction.

Since the rider already had 1 previous penalty point, the sanction for accumulating 4 penalty points is to start the next race from the back of the grid.

Thus Valentino Rossi will start the Gran Premio MOTUL de la Communicat Valenciana from the last position of the grid.




More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:

Yamaha Scores Tenth Double Podium in Sepang

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo gave a brilliant performance today to take second at a scorching hot Sepang International Circuit and prolong the championship battle to the final round in Valencia. Teammate Valentino Rossi fought one of the hardest battles of his career to protect his championship ambitions and took third. He received three penalty points by the Race Direction for which an appeal to the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) was rejected.

Sepang (Malaysia), 25th October 2015

A dramatic Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix saw Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi claim Yamaha‘s tenth double podium of the season at the Sepang International Circuit.

Lorenzo had a good start off the line at the beginning of the Sepang battle, but found himself squeezed out by Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso and emerged from the first corner in sixth position. The Majorcan immediately went to work and needed only half a lap to recover to fourth in pursuit of his teammate.

Lorenzo soon arrived at the back of Rossi and smoothly passed him after two laps to move up to second when Marquez made a mistake in turn four and the Majorcan took full advantage. Lorenzo quickly moved on to chase Dani Pedrosa, but was unable to win ground and finished the race in second, trailing 3.612s.

As of today‘s race Valentino Rossi holds the record of most starts in Grand Prix history with 329 starts in what is probably his most dramatic as of yet. The Doctor had a good launch from third on the grid and kept his position as he settled behind Pedrosa and Marquez into the first turn. As Lorenzo started to move up the order, Rossi tried to respond, but was forced to let the Majorcan pass with nineteen laps to go and soon found himself trailing Marquez and one of the most heated scraps of the century ensued.

For four laps the Italian and Spaniard bashed fairings and overtook in almost every corner. The fight was decided when with fourteen laps to go Marc crashed as the result of the two coming into contact at turn 13. Rossi continued the race in third place in a lonely ride and held his position over the line, 13.724s from the front.

Lorenzo‘s comeback from second row to second place earns him 20 points and leaves him second in the championship standings with 305 points. Rossi‘s performance sees him take 16 points and leaves him still leading on 312 points, just 7 points in front of his teammate in the battle for the World Championship Title.

Following the incident in turn 13, Race Direction has decided to impose 3 penalty points to Rossi, who will start the next Valencia race from the back of the grid. The following appeal by the Team to the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) has been rejected.

JORGE LORENZO

It was a very hard race. I gave the maximum to keep Dani‘s rear wheel as close as possible, but to be honest his pace had been unbelievable. He was so quick and consistent and picked up the bike in a perfect way, so it was very difficult to overtake him on braking. I could only finish in second place, which is important because we recovered points. When I saw the battle between Marc and Valentino I was really surprised because the action was huge and I have to respect race direction‘s decision.

VALENTINO ROSSI

Marquez knows it wasn‘t red mist that caused the incident. It‘s very clear from the helicopter footage that I didn‘t want to make him crash, I just wanted to make him lose time, go outside of the line and slow down, because he was playing his dirty game, even worse than in Australia. When I went wide and slowed down to nearly a stop, I looked at him as if to say ’what are you doing?‘. After that we touched. He touched with his right underarm on my leg and my foot slipped off the foot peg. If you look at the image from the helicopter it‘s clear that when my foot slipped of the foot peg, Marquez had already crashed. I didn‘t want to kick him, especially because, if you give a kick to a MotoGP bike, it won‘t crash, it‘s very heavy. For me the sanction is not fair, because Marquez won his fight. His program is OK because he is making me lose the championship. The sanction is not good, especially for me, because I didn‘t purposefully want to make him crash, I just reacted to his behaviour, but I didn‘t kick him. You can‘t say anything in the press conference, maybe it changes something, but to me this was not fair, because I just want to fight for the championship with Jorge and let the better man win, but like this that‘s not happening. Like I said, I didn‘t want to make Marquez crash, but I had to do something because at that moment Jorge was already gone. The championship is not over yet, but this sanction cut me off by the legs and made Marquez win.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

It‘s a shame to see such a beautiful championship, that was supposed to result in one of the most exciting battles between the two Yamaha riders, be affected and almost compromised by another rider. We should be here today dealing with Jorge‘s amazing performance on track and his second place, as well as another thrilling battle among top riders but unfortunately this is not the case. We made an appeal to the FIM stewards against the penalty issued by the Race Direction because whilst we respect the infringement, we felt 3 penalty points were too harsh. We have since heard that the appeal has been rejected. We respect this final decision.



More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Pedrosa dominates in Malaysia as Marquez crashes out after controversial clash with Rossi

Pole man Dani Pedrosa led every lap of today’s Malaysian GP to take his second win of the season and seal the hat-trick of victories for the Repsol Honda Team in the fly away races. Unfortunately teammate Marc Marquez was involved in an incident with Valentino Rossi and crashed out on lap five.

Dani made a strong start off the line with Marc closely behind him however, after a small mistake on lap two Marc was passed by Lorenzo in turn four demoting him to third place and in front of Rossi. As Dani took control at the front, Marc and Rossi fought fiercely for third place and on lap four the two riders passed each other nine times, with Marc leading as they began lap five.

Again they battled and passed one another five times with Rossi in front as they exited turn thirteen. With Marc on the outside, Rossi slowed them both down into turn fourteen and then extended his leg into Marc’s bike causing him to crash. Dani remained untouchable at the front, winning comfortably with a margin of 3.6 seconds over Lorenzo.

After the podium ceremony, Rossi and Marc were called to Race Direction for a hearing. Their decision – after speaking with both riders – was to give three penalty points to Valentino, resulting in him starting the final race of the season from the back of the grid, as he already has one penalty point after an incident in Misano. Yamaha appealed this decision and the FIM had their own hearing with both riders but the appeal was declined and the penalty stands.

With his victory, Dani moves up into 4th in the Championship Standings with just one race of 2015 remaining in Valencia.

Dani Pedrosa

1ST CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 4TH - 190 POINTS

"I am very happy because it was a very nice Grand Prix! We had a good feeling from Friday, we were able to manage the weekend well and above all we had a bike that worked very well during every practice. The setup we used at this circuit in February during testing helped me a lot and I'm very happy to take this win for my team, who have been behind me all the way. I am especially pleased to finish the season very positively, as it has been a hard year but we are now recovering well and we’re in good form. Australia is always the hardest race of the year for me, but that turned out fine and I'm really glad we completed the fly aways like this."

Marc Marquez

DNF CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 3RD - 222 POINTS

"We were having a good race up until the incident. At the beginning I made a mistake, but then I regained confidence. Valentino overtook me, I followed him for half a lap, and I saw that I could go faster than him, so I tried overtake him back. We started a fight between us and I always passed without making any contact with him. At Turn 14 he passed me on the inside, I sat the bike up, he kept going straight ahead and I saw him looking at me. I didn’t know what to do. Then he kicked out at me, knocking my brake lever, and I crashed. I will leave the sanction in the hands of Race Direction. All I know is that I scored zero points and ended up in the gravel, but thankfully I'm fine. Both what Valentino said to Race Direction and what he did on the track has made me disappointed. I’ve never seen anything like it: a rider kicking another rider. It might be down to nerves, but I want to try to forget about all this and the important thing is that I'm fine physically. I hope, for the sake of the sport that this ends here."



More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

CRUTCHLOW CLAIMS STRONG FIFTH POSITION AT SEPANG

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow continued his excellent recent form as he took fifth place in the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International circuit. The result was a fine way to sign off the three flyaway races which also produced sixth and seventh place finishes in Japan and Australia.

Starting from fifth spot on the grid, Crutchlow revealed he had been hampered by a braking issue with his RC213V during Sunday’s race. But he managed his machine impressively and produced a smooth ride to seal another highly-creditable points finish. The Briton is now aiming to improve once again in Valencia and finish the MotoGP season in style.

Cal Crutchlow #35 (5th – 41m 06.412s)

"It was a bit of a strange race today. I had a problem with the brake lever after about eight laps and I managed the tyres as best as possible, but obviously I did not have great feeling with the brakes because of this problem.

“But to finish these three flyaway races with fifth is a good result, although perhaps we should have been in fourth place today, riding our own race not too far behind Valentino (Rossi). But it wasn’t to be and now we have to go to Valencia and try to keep improving once again.

“Also I would like to say sorry to Dovi (Andrea Dovizioso) as I knocked him off – he is the last rider on the track I would want to knock off as he is the cleanest rider. I apologized to him and he took it very well.”



More, from another press release issued by LCR Honda:

MILLER CHALKS UP ANOTHER FINISH IN MALAYSIAN GP

LCR Honda rider Jack Miller came home in 17th position in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International circuit. Although unable to secure a points finish, the Australian produced a solid ride to ensure he saw the chequered flag at the end of a grueling race that took place in hot and humid conditions.

Having started from the sixth row of the grid, Miller battled hard throughout with his rivals in the open category and eventually finished just behind former world champion Nicky Hayden. Whilst not totally satisfied with the result, Miller was happy to see it through to the end and is now looking to sign of his rookie MotoGP season in style at Valencia.

Jack Miller #43 (17th – 41m 40.519s)

"I’m happy to finish the race today. It was very hot which made things harder and it’s always a very difficult race here in Malaysia. Of course we expected and wanted more, but it was not to be today.

“The team worked really hard all weekend to bring me the best bike possible and we tried hard, but today was not our best and we will learn from this. Now we look forward to Valencia and finishing the season as strongly as possible, both for myself and the team.”



More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Smith delivers superb performance to clinch 4th at Sepang

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith conquered the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand prix with a superbly calculated run to 4th position in today’s round 17 battle. The 24 year old got straight to work as soon as the race kicked into gear in the searing heat at Sepang as he leapt forward from the third row of the grid. The Briton muscled his way around the 5.5 kilometre circuit on the opening lap which he finished in 10th and he remained confident of ascending through the field. By lap 4, Smith had already passed three riders and found himself in 7th position. His pace continued to increase and just before the midpoint of the race, the Briton was in 6th and homing in on Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow. He chipped away and brilliantly shot past Crutchlow on the 11th lap, clinching 4th as well as the lead of the satellite bike battle. Smith then pulled clear of the pursuing rider and stretched out in front. He comfortably carried on his rhythm before finishing the GP in this position, after having opened up a gap of 4.726 seconds over Crutchlow by the time the chequered flag fell. The strong result marks a positive close in the challenging conditions for the young British rider and sees his points tally rise to 171 in the MotoGP standings where he currently sits in 6th, with one round left to race in the 2015 World Championship.

Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro produced a brave and relentless effort as he rode through the pain to finish in 9th in the gruelling Sepang Grand Prix. The young Spaniard started the 20 lap battle from the fourth row, despite experiencing huge discomfort in his cervical spine after falling due to a collision with Barberá in the morning warm up. Yet, an X-ray confirmed that there was no fracture and Espargaro was given the all clear to race. However, the 24 year old remained fully focused and determined to clinch a solid result when the lights flicked off. Espargaro undertook a strong start and picked his way through the field to finish the opening lap in 7th, having moved up four places from his grid placement. He immediately stuck into his race pace as he sought to remain with the leading group, yet slipped back one place by the start of the fourth lap. Espargaro remained in this position but as the end of the GP inched closer, he became engaged in the fight for 6th with three other riders. However, his heroic effort saw him eventually cross the finish line in 9th despite riding with the injury. He now looks towards the season finale at Valencia in two weeks, where he will aim to close the year positively with a strong result.

Bradley Smith

Position : 4th Championship : 6th Points : 171

“Obviously, finishing this race in 4th position is a fantastic result, especially after such a challenging weekend. Going from 14th at the end of day one to 4th today highlights the great effort by the team and I must thank them for this. In all honesty, we really struggled in the last few days, but we just kept on trying to improve step by step. Things eventually looked good in warm up and I was able to follow a few riders, plus we made another positive change on our Yamaha for the race. Therefore I felt confident, because I knew that I had a good rhythm and I would be able to remain consistent in my lap times. In addition, I know how to ride with old tyres here. When the lights finally went out, I got a good start, but then I lost a bit of time in the second corner. However, I was able to pass Stefan Bradl quite quickly and then I tried to keep the gap to Cal and Dovizioso the same because I believed that at one point in the race, I could close in on them. Therefore, I also tried to look after my tyres the best that I could. It was unfortunate for Dovizioso because he had that incident with Cal, which is a shame because it would have been good to fight with him. Yet, after that, I was able to catch Cal and then I pushed as hard as possible in the last 7 laps to open up a gap. It is amazing to get 13 points as we have now extended the points lead over Dovizioso for 6th position in the championship. So we definitely have something to celebrate and we can go home with a smile on our faces after a positive three weeks.”

Pol Espargaro

Position : 9th Championship : 10th Points : 103

“I must admit that today’s race was one of the hardest that I have ever had to ride. During the warm up this morning, Barberá crashed into me and I hurt my neck badly. As a result, I had to get it checked before the race so I went to the hospital and to the Clinica Mobile. I have to thank all of the staff, because they worked really hard to make sure that I was in the best possible condition, although in all honesty, I wasn’t feeling great at all. I knew that it was going to be a hard race and sure enough, it was. I experienced a lot of pain and sometimes I even felt dizzy, but I gave it my 100% and tried my best to get to the chequered flag. Obviously, how I felt riding the bike as well as the setting and everything else was less important, as I was just fighting and counting down the laps. Yet, looking back, I think I could have clinched a good result bearing in mind how the race progressed and how my pace was in the practice this morning. Anyway, now I will have my neck checked again in Barcelona and after that, I will try to be as fit as possible for Valencia."

Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

“I am very happy and proud of both of our guys and what a great way to end the weekend in Malaysia. Bradley had an amazing race and brilliantly overcame the tricky weekend that he was experiencing. It was clear to see that he had been struggling every day and the fact that he went through QP1 highlighted the fact that we were far from where we were supposed to be. Fortunately Brad had a much better feeling in the warm up and when the race began, he had a good start as usual. We knew that physically he was really fit, plus able to cope with the heat and this is exactly what he did as he posted consistent times lap after lap which meant that he moved through the field. He had a fight with Cal, who made a slight mistake which allowed Bradley to open a gap and then he stretched ahead and even closed in on Valentino a little bit. So overall, we are more than happy with his 4th place. I would also like to commend Pol and thank him for trying as hard as he did. We knew that he had a crash in this morning’s warm up due to colliding with Barberá. This caused him to injure his vertebrae and it was touch and go as to whether he would be fit for the race. Yet, once he got going, he pushed as hard as he could and in the end he got some good championship points. All in all, the outcome of the third flyaway round was very positive, so hopefully we can repeat a similar performance in Valencia.”

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