The penultimate round this year’s MotoGP race fell to the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. This time around, at least someone other than newly crowned Champion Marc Marquez was able to win the race, although a rather meaning-less one. Factory Yamaha squad’s Maverick Vinales turned up the juice to beat Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso. Dovizioso’s podium finish did Shell some justice as they were the event and the team title sponsors. Fan favorite Valentino Rossi managed fourth, edging out Suzuki’s Alex Rins.
Shell held plenty of off-track activities to get people to go watch the race live and it apparently worked. Furthermore, tickets were relatively cheap by International Grand Prix standards to watch the world’s premier two-wheel race. The fans got their money’s worth as MotoGP is the most exciting race to watch and it doesn’t go on forever, with so many unnecessary interruptions.
The race started at high noon, as always Marquez was lightning quick off the line and grabbed six positions in the first two corners. Vinales led Jack Miller in the first lap, with Marquez trailing close in third. With nine places gained, the reigning champion settled in behind Miller for a short while. After muscling past the Australian, Marquez began to work on closing the 1.6 second gap to Viñales.
The race quickly settled as Marquez eased up and allowed Vinales to maintain his lead. He rather finished in the points and prevented from ending up in the dirt. Dovizioso had dispatched Miller to get up to third place. Miller then had to confront Valentino Rossi who was blazing up behind him. The Doctor took his time and dispatched Miller in Turn 9 for fourth, with seven laps to go. Rossi next went after Dovizioso, but the Yamaha proved not as effective as the Ducati. He would settle in and defended his place from Rins. The order would finish with Vinales the winner, Marquez, Dovizioso, Rossi and Rins.
For Marquez, the result in Malaysia him the honor of being the first rider in history to score 17 MotoGP class podium finishes in a single season, extending his unbroken run of top-two finishes to 15. Marquez’s last finish outside of the top two came at the Czech GP in 2018 when he was third.
The teams now get a week’s rest after three consecutive GPs, before they return to action in Valencia for the finale, 14 – 17 November.
2019 MotoGP Malaysian GP Sepang results
1 Maverick Viñales Yamaha ESP 40’14.632
2 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 00’03.059
3 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 00’05.611
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 00’05.965
5 Alex Rins Suzuki ESP 00’06.350
6 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha ITA 00’09.993
7 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha FRA 00’12.864
8 Jack Miller Honda AUS 00’17.252
9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati ITA 00’19.773
10 Joan Mir Suzuki ESP 00’22.854
1 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 395
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 256
3 Maverick Viñales Yamaha ESP 201
4 Alex Rins Suzuki ESP 194
5 Danilo Petrucci Ducati ITA 176
6 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha FRA 172
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 166
8 Jack Miller Honda AUS 149
9 Cal Crutchlow Honda GBR 133
10 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha ITA 115