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 seven points with one race left. Pedrosa led from flag to flag to win by 3.612s in hot and humid conditions 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 (one from Misano and one from this event).
“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 off 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” Said Rossi in his defence.
Local rider Eugene Laverty struggled home in 19th place on the Aspar Honda and said afterwards. “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.”