Bridgestone: Pedrosa bounces back with dominant victory at Sepang

On the fifth lap, Pedrosa squeezed past Lorenzo and then led all the way to the chequered flag.

Dani Pedrosa overcame his heartbreak from the last round at Aragon as the Repsol Honda rider dominated today’s race at Sepang International Circuit to win his second successive Malaysian Grand Prix.

Pedrosa made a fantastic start from fifth on the grid to and to slot into second place behind Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo at the first corner. On the fifth lap, Pedrosa squeezed past Lorenzo and then led all the way to the chequered flag.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

In second place was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, the championship leader also getting past Lorenzo who rounded out the podium in third position. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was once again the best of the CRT riders, taking ninth place in Malaysia.

Conditions for on race day were dry and the warmest of the entire race weekend with a peak track temperature of 46°C recorded at the start of the race. The warmer conditions didn’t have an effect on tyre choice, with riders choosing the same tyre combinations used during practice and qualifying.

All but two riders on the grid selected the harder rear slick option, while only five of the twenty-three starters chose the harder front slick. Despite the hot conditions, the performance of all the slick compounds used in the race was consistent, with Marquez setting a new Circuit Record Lap of 2'01.415, and the overall race time was eighteen seconds quicker than the existing record.

With three rounds remaining, Marquez extends his points lead over Jorge Lorenzo to forty-three points, while Pedrosa’s third victory of the season sees him remain third overall, though he reduces the gap to Lorenzo to eleven points.

Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department: “Today we saw a wonderful performance from Dani to score his second straight Malaysian Grand Prix, so congratulations to him and the Repsol Honda team. There was great racing throughout the field today, particularly in the early stages of the contest and I am sure the sell-out crowd of 84,250 enjoyed the show put on by the riders today. The crowds for the Malaysian Grand Prix keep growing and after today’s spectacle, I have no doubt interest in this series will continue to grow in this region. We now head straight to Phillip Island for the second of the three back-to-back fly away rounds as the championship heads towards an exciting conclusion.”

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “Tyre performance today in the warmer conditions was very good with a new race lap and overall race time record being set and feedback from the riders indicates that tyre degradation over the race distance was predictable. Although track temperatures were warmer today, they weren’t at a level where it resulted in riders deviating from the tyre choices they made yesterday in practice and qualifying, with most riders preferring softer slick options front and rear. We had typically unsettled conditions here at Sepang, but our tyre allocation for the weekend was up to the task, and we now look forward to Phillip Island which is the most demanding race on our tyres.“

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – Race Winner: “It was a great feeling to come back and win this race, especially as it is quite hard physically. I didn’t have the best weekend early on, but I managed to come back strong today and get the win. At the last race I also felt I had the pace to win but unfortunately I crashed, but after today’s performance I’d like to thank my team, my fans and my family for their support.”

Bridgestone Motorsport

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Race reports
Tags aragon, honda, motogp, pedrosa