Malaysian Moto3: Bagnaia dominates after chaos strikes front-runners

Aspar Mahindra’s Francesco Bagnaia scored his second win of the Moto3 season in Malaysia in a crash-filled red flagged race, which saw no fewer than 14 riders retire.

The Italian took the lead of the race after a crash at Turn 7, which took out the leading group of Brad Binder, Joan Mir and Lorenzo dalla Porta.

It was then a case of keeping the advantage in check for Bagnaia, as the tow was broken to the chasing pack. He extended the lead lap-by-lap over his closest challenger Jakub Kornfeil, eventually being classified seven seconds clear.

While Bagnaia was up ahead in distance, the battle for second heated up, with Kornfeil having to fend off Bo Bendsneyder and Fabio Quartararo.

But the race came to an abrupt red-flag end as drizzling rain returned, and Maria Herrera crashed at the final corner on Lap 15.

That confirmed Bagnaia his second win of the season, which moves him up to third in the standings. It was also the Indian manufacturer Mahindra's third win of 2016.

With the results taken on Lap 13, even though Bendsneyder took second on track, the KTM rider was moved back to third behind Kornfeil.

It was Bendsneyder's second podium of the season, and the first for Kornfeil for the Malaysian Drive M7 SIC Racing Team.

Behind, Quartararo was fourth as Andrea Locatelli rounded off the top five. Marcos Ramirez for the second race in succession scored points with a sixth place finish.

Gabriel Rodrigo was seventh, having been involved in the lead battle at the initial stages of the race, before falling off the pace.

Khairul Idham Pawi took eighth in his home race, while Livio Loi and Darryn Binder completed the top 10.

Only 17 finishers after incidents

The race saw several crashes much like last weekend’s race in Australia. The first lap took out eight riders, with a few retiring immediately.

At first, it was Andrea Migno who crashed into Juanfran Guevara, with Enea Bastianini's replacement Ayumu Sasaki also retiring.

Further ahead in the lap, there was a major incident when Jorge Martin high-sided and lost control of his bike, causing a chain reaction collision that took out Aron Canet, Philipp Oettl, Adam Norrodin and Niccolo Bulega.

While Norrodin continued, he had another incident at Turn 7 later on in the race which saw 2016 champion Binder, Mir, dalla Porta and Fabio di Giannantonio all bizarrely sliding out in the same corner.

Binder, dalla Porta and di Giannantonio continued, with the latter scoring a point by finishing 15th.

Meanwhile, Martin, Bulega, Norrodin and Oettl were taken to the medical center for precautionary checks.

The retirement list also included Jules Danilo, Jorge Navarro, Albert Arenas and Tatsuki Suzuki.

Race results:

PosDriverBikeLapsTimeGap
1 Francesco Bagnaia Mahindra 13 29'29.351  
2 Jakub Kornfeil Honda 13 29'36.459 7.108
3 Bo Bendsneyder KTM 13 29'36.604 7.253
4 Fabio Quartararo KTM 13 29'37.820 8.469
5 Andrea Locatelli KTM 13 29'41.765 12.414
6   Marcos Ramirez Mahindra 13 29'42.057 12.706
7 Gabriel Rodrigo KTM 13 29'42.738 13.387
8 Khairul Idham Pawi Honda 13 29'42.857 13.506
9 Livio Loi Honda 13 29'43.796 14.445
10 Darryn Binder Mahindra 13 30'08.128 38.777
11   Hafiq Azmi Peugeot 13 30'15.178 45.827
12 Niccolo Antonelli Honda 13 30'18.250 48.899
13 Stefano Valtulini Mahindra 13 30'18.999 49.648
14   Lorenzo Petrarca Mahindra 13 30'19.193 49.842
15 Fabio Di Giannantonio Honda 13 30'44.514 1'15.163
16   Lorenzo dalla Porta KTM 12 29'35.775 1 lap
17 Brad Binder KTM 10 29'36.999 3 laps
  Maria Herrera KTM 13 29'43.144 13.793
  Jules Danilo Honda 6 13'47.514 7 laps
  Jorge Navarro Honda 5 13'28.243 8 laps
  Albert Arenas Peugeot 3 7'00.696 10 laps
  Joan Mir KTM 2 4'37.509 11 laps
  Tatsuki Suzuki Mahindra 2 4'42.167 11 laps
  Andrea Migno KTM 2 5'32.115 11 laps
  Nicolo Bulega KTM 1 4'23.960 12 laps
  Jorge Martin Mahindra 0    
  Aron Canet Honda 0    
  Philipp Ottl KTM 0    
  Juan Francisco Guevara KTM 0    
  Adam Norrodin Honda 0    
    Ayumu Sasaki Honda 0    

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About this article
Series Moto3
Event Sepang
Track Sepang International Circuit
Drivers Francesco Bagnaia , Jakub Kornfeil , Bo Bendsneyder
Teams Aspar Racing Team
Article type Race report