Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo battled hard during the early stages of today’s Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix to take third on the podium.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Starting from fourth on the grid, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider was yet again off the start line like a bullet and the first rider through turn one in the lead. With both Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez snapping at his heels he put his head down and tried to break away. With 16 laps to go, Pedrosa made his move at the end of the back straight, taking the lead.

Marquez then moved up into third and began an epic battle with Lorenzo, the two swapping positions multiple times and passing within millimetres of each other at speeds of over 190km per hour. With 11 laps to go Marquez was able to make his final pass tick on the inside of turn 14, leaving Lorenzo to hold third to the line and claim third on the podium.

Teammate Valentino Rossi dropped initially to fourth off the line from his second place grid position, tucked in behind Marquez on the first lap. The nine-time world champion made a move on Marquez at turn 10 but was unable to pass and settled back into fourth.

Rossi spent several laps holding off the advances of Alvaro Bautista, narrowly escaping an incident when the Spanish rider overshot turn one, just missing Rossi as he ran wide. The rest of the race proved to be a lonely one as he held his position in fourth, crossing the line just over ten seconds behind the leader.

The results from the first of the overseas triple header sees Lorenzo hold second in the championship, now on 255 points, Rossi holds fourth on 198 points.

The team now moves directly to Australia for the next round at the Phillip Island circuit next weekend.

Jorge Lorenzo (3rd | +6.669 | 20 Laps): “We were much slower than the others today, especially after three or four laps. I tried to open a gap at the beginning like always but there was +0 on the board after a couple of laps. When Dani passed I tried to stay with him and also then again when Marc passed me. I tried to pass him some more times to make him nervous but it was impossible, he was much stronger today so we couldn't do much more. To win the championship is almost impossible but I would like to finish second in the championship and win as many races as possible.”

Valentino Rossi (4th | +10.351 | 20 Laps): “Today was half and half for me, for sure we improved and made another step, improving the setting of the bike and I was able to be very close to Jorge. It looks like today our competitors had an advantage here; they were able to keep a better rhythm than us. Starting from second I hoped to arrive on the podium but I knew the top three guys were very strong. At the beginning of the race I lost some time as I had a problem with the front brakes. We continue to work and push and fight to be in with the top three.”

Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager: “Well, it was a very hot race, especially at the beginning, Jorge made an amazing start again. I think he gave everything he had to fight with Marc but finally it was not enough and he had to let them go for third place. Podiums are always good and sometimes there are races you cannot win, this was one of those.”

Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director: “The weekend didn't go as we expected. We suffered a drop off in tyre life and we couldn't ride the bikes as we needed to. We tried hard to make the best setting to be fast and consistent but unfortunately we still needed something more. We won’t give up until the end and fortunately there is one race in a week’s time. We would like to have our revenge so we are really looking forward to Phillip Island.”

Yamaha Factory Racing