MotoGP Penultimate round homes in on Sepang Circuit

 2015 MotoGP San Marino Jorge Lorenzo leads Marc Marquez The penultimate round of the 2016 MotoGP Championship takes flight at the Sepang International Circuit, this weekend. With the Riders crown already decided in favor of Marc Marquez, the runner-up spot is still up for grabs between the Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

Despite crashing out at the previous Phillip Island race, Marquez still aims for more wins to add to his already illustrious premier class record. Prior to his arrival in Malaysia, the Repsol Honda ace visited Indonesia for a promotional event. This was Marquez’s second visit to one of Honda’s key S.E.A. markets.

In Indonesia, Marquez attended a dinner with top management from Astra Honda, as well as the major national motorsport media. He next met with a group of around 15 young riders who were students at Astra Honda Racing School Indonesia, and rode a few laps with them at the Sentul Circuit. The champion also rode the new Honda CBR250RR and signed autographs for fans, before departing for Malaysia. Marquez and Nicky Hayden, who’s replaced Dani Pedrosa for the time being, will again carry the Repsol Honda banner for the 17th round race.

After a hard-fought race at the Phillip Island, Yamaha MotoGP riders are prepared to face the final fly-away race. After a brilliant catch-up race by Rossi last weekend, the nine-time champion is impatient to meet his fans on the Malaysian track, which is one of his favorites on the calendar. The Doctor hopes to again finish on the podium this weekend to reconfirm his status as the current rider with the most premier class wins at the Malaysian circuit. The Italian snatched victory in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, secured second place 2002, 2005 and 2014 and third place in 2009 and 2015.

Lorenzo is also looking forward to get back into action this weekend, this time with warmer temperatures. The Spaniard has often expressed that he thoroughly enjoys the Sepang track. He hopes the resurfacing of the circuit combined with his smooth riding style will give him the edge he needs to claim his first premier class MotoGP victory there, having come close to the win last year. Lorenzo climbed the Malaysian premier class podium on five occasions, claiming second place in 2012 and 2015 and third place in 2010, 2013 and 2014.

Following a less-than-favorable race at Phillip Island, Ducati MotoGP squad riders Andrea Dovizioso and Hector Brabera are looking to bounce back at the Sepang track. Dovizioso ended the Australian race in a fighting fourth, while Brabera crashed out, three laps from the end. Brabera climbed from 14th spot to eleventh in the early stint, then went on a battle with a group of seven riders fighting for seventh place. During the tough battle, Brabera lost control of his Ducati and crashed out at Turn 6 three laps from the flag. The Spanish rider vows to come back strong in the final two races of the year.