Sepang Moto2: Bagnaia seals title, Marini wins race

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Sepang Moto2: Bagnaia seals title, Marini wins race
Rachit Thukral
By: Rachit Thukral
Nov 4, 2018, 4:00 AM

Francesco Bagnaia wrapped up the 2018 Moto2 title by finishing third behind race winner Luca Marini and title rival Miguel Oliveira in Sunday’s Sepang race.

Bagnaia arrived in Malaysia 36 points clear of Oliveira, meaning he could afford to finish outside the points as long as Oliveira didn’t end up in the top two.

The 2019 Pramac Ducati MotoGP signing was immediately on the move when the 18-lap race began, jumping up from sixth to second on the opening lap.

Oliveira slotted himself right behind Bagnaia and passed him into Turn 4 on lap seven, but second place simply wasn’t enough to keep the title fight going to the Valencia finale.

Bagnaia was declared champion, having built an unassailable 32-point lead over Oliveira with only 25 on offer in the final race.

Story of the race

It was Marini who made the best start from the front row, sprinting to the lead ahead of the battling pair of Bagnaia and Oliveira.

The two championship protagonists traded places several times before Oliveira made a decisive move at the start of lap seven to secure second, and then set about chasing Marini for the lead.

Marini ran wide at turn 1 on lap 13, bringing Oliveira into contention, but the Sky VR46 rider recouped the place immediately to build a small buffer again.

He held on to score his first victory of the season, bettering his second place result from the Czech Republic.

Bagnaia dropped into the clutches of Mattia Pasini, but did enough to finish third - and with it clinch the Moto2 title ahead of his graduation to the premier class.

Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up) passed both Pons rider Lorenzo Baldassarri and Marc VDS man Alex Marquez on the final lap to finish fifth behind Pasini (Italrans).

Polesitter Marquez recovered from a scruffy opening lap to run as high as fifth, but faded towards the latter stages of the race and ended up seventh.

Ajo’s Brad Binder was next up in eighth, while Marcel Schrotter (Intact) and reigning Moto3 champion Joan Mir (Marc VDS) completed the top 10.

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 10 Italy Luca Marini  Kalex 38'25.689  
2 44 Portugal Miguel Oliveira  KTM 38'26.883 1.194
3 42 Italy Francesco Bagnaia  Kalex 38'28.709 3.020
4 54 Italy Mattia Pasini  Kalex 38'30.186 4.497
5 20 France Fabio Quartararo  Speed Up 38'30.939 5.250
6 7 Italy Lorenzo Baldassarri  Kalex 38'30.994 5.305
7 73 Spain Alex Marquez  Kalex 38'33.379 7.690
8 41 South Africa Brad Binder  KTM 38'34.632 8.943
9 23 Germany Marcel Schrotter  Kalex 38'35.376 9.687
10 36 Spain Joan Mir  Kalex 38'44.236 18.547
11 97 Spain Xavi Vierge  Kalex 38'44.505 18.816
12 5 Italy Andrea Locatelli  Kalex 38'45.428 19.739
13 9 Spain Jorge Navarro  Kalex 38'46.866 21.177
14 77 Switzerland Dominique Aegerter  KTM 38'47.649 21.960
15 22 United Kingdom Sam Lowes  KTM 38'52.564 26.875
16 24 Italy Simone Corsi  Kalex 38'54.204 28.515
17 89 Malaysia Khairul Idham Pawi  Kalex 38'54.491 28.802
18 16 United States Joe Roberts  NTS 38'55.480 29.791
19 2 Switzerland Jesko Raffin  Kalex 38'56.246 30.557
20 57 Spain Edgar Pons  Speed Up 38'56.758 31.069
21 4 South Africa Steven Odendaal  NTS 39'04.119 38.430
22 95 France Jules Danilo  Kalex 39'08.619 42.930
23 30 Indonesia Dimas Ekky Pratama  Tech 3 39'23.196 57.507
24 32 Spain Isaac Viñales  Suter 39'23.599 57.910
25 21 Italy Federico Fuligni  Kalex 39'29.426 1'03.737
26 50 Rafid Topan  Suter 40'29.755 2'04.066
  40 Spain Augusto Fernandez  Kalex 17'11.225 10 Laps
  66 Finland Niki Tuuli  Kalex 15'16.913 11 Laps
  45 Japan Tetsuta Nagashima  Kalex 16'52.796 11 Laps
  87 Australia Remy Gardner  Tech 3 11'24.485 13 Laps
  18 Andorra Xavi Cardelus  Kalex 12'02.737 13 Laps
  27 Spain Iker Lecuona  KTM 5'27.706 16 Laps
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About this article

Series Moto2
Event Sepang
Drivers Francesco Bagnaia
Teams Team VR46
Author Rachit Thukral