Malaysian GP: Repsol Honda race report

The Repsol rider close to his first victory on Bridgestone tyres. His teammate Nicky Hayden fourth, just three tenths off the podium. Bad luck for Simon and Rabat in 250cc & 125cc. A great weekend for Dani Pedrosa in Malaysia, with a second ...

The Repsol rider close to his first victory on Bridgestone tyres. His teammate Nicky Hayden fourth, just three tenths off the podium. Bad luck for Simon and Rabat in 250cc & 125cc.

A great weekend for Dani Pedrosa in Malaysia, with a second position in today's race, behind Valentino Rossi the winner of the Malaysian GP. The Repsol Honda Team rider dominated the first half of the race thanks once again to a great start from the pole position on the grid, which he won in yesterday's classification.

His teammate Nicky Hayden, was close to a podium finish after an intense battle with Dovizioso, but in the end was not rewarded with one of the positions of honour. In 250cc, a bitter taste was left in Julian Simon" mouth because after fighting for the victory he had to retire with mechanical problems. Esteve Rabat did not have any better luck, he fell when there were just two laps left and when he was fighting to get among the points.

The penultimate race of the season began well for Dani Pedrosa who after some very good practice sessions was constantly making progress -- eventually winning the pole position in the final second ends of yesterday's classification session. He got off to a great start from the first position on the grid and the Repsol rider took control of the race from the first corner setting a very high pace that only one other rider, Valentino Rossi, was able to keep up with. With a lead of over one second after just two laps, it was clear that the race would be won by one of these two. And the same was true for third place on the podium as Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso had an exciting battle for third place right up to the chequered flag. There were many changes in their positions with overtaking done at the very limits of physics. In the end Dovizioso got his first podium in the top category, and Hayden had to make do with fourth position.

At the front Pedrosa led the race until the tenth lap when he lowered the pace a little because of the intense heat out on the track, Rossi took his chance to overtake him. The Italian set a very fast pace from that moment on and in a few laps had got away from the Spanish rider. Rossi crossed the finishing line first with an advantage of 4 seconds. And so Dani Pedrosa rounded off a great weekend by winning his second podium on Bridgestone tyres.


In 250cc, a disappointing end to Julian Simon" weekend after a great race, fighting for the victory on the first ten laps -- but his high hopes were suddenly cut short by mechanical problems. The Repsol rider made a great start from the second row of the grid and was third before the end of the first lap. He was immediately in the limelight as one of a group of four riders made up of Simon, Alvaro Bautista, the eventual winner of the race, Hiroshi Aoyama, the KTM rider with technical support from Repsol and Marco Simoncelli who with the third position he got today has been proclaimed World 250cc Champion. The four changed the lead several times until nine laps from the end. When Simon was in fourth position the engine on the KTM 250 FRR Repsol said farewell. A few laps earlier it had been Mika Kallio" KTM, another rider with technical support from Repsol, that had had to retire with mechanical problems.

In 125cc Esteve Rabat did not have an easy race as he started from the back, in 26th position. The Repsol rider was affected by a fall in the classification on Friday and the rain in yesterday's definitive session. He started well down the field and he only had one option:, to overtake all the riders in front of him. After a few laps Rabat was up to 22nd position. Lap by lap the Repsol rider fought to climb in the classification, but just two laps from the end, on corner number 9, the front wheel of his motorbike lost its grip when braking and he fell when he was behind his compatriot Martin, and he was forced to retire.



Dani Pedrosa >>

"It was a very tough race and I'm happy very about this result. I want to thank my team, we have worked well, improving every session. On Friday morning we were only 17th, I think, then we started moving forward and yesterday we were able to get pole and today I finished second, so finally it has been a good weekend for me and my team.

We have made another important step forward after Phillip Island where I crashed out of the race and hurt my left knee. At the end of today's race Valentino was faster than me, he always puts on some extra pressure towards the end, so it was difficult to follow him, but we were closer this time than we were at Motegi [where Pedrosa finished third], so I am happy that we are making progress with our new bike and tyres. It has been a little bit difficult for me and my team to get used this package so late in the season, but we are getting faster every race and this is important. If we can get closer at the next race then we know we are working in a good direction. I am looking forward to Valencia next week: there will be a lot of Spansh fans there."

Nicky Hayden >>

"We knew it was never going to be easy -- all weekend we've been sixth and seventh, and with the changeable weather we were never really able to find anything set-up-wise. Then we had a bad warm-up. We tried some stuff overnight and went a bit backwards, so for the race I was quite unsure how it was going to go.

We put the bike back to how it was yesterday morning, and it was okay, but I was just missing that little bit. The race honestly went better than I thought I would, it could've been uglier. I pushed hard, a couple of times I was able to get in front of Dovi, but he held tough. Man, he don't give in for nothing. I enjoyed the battle, it was fun battling for the podium after the dudes up front took off early. I tried everything I could, I was pushing the front quite a lot, through Turn Three mainly. Maybe I should have tried something a little more silly on the last lap, that's always hindsight, but sure I'll beat myself up tonight, thinking I should have taken some bigger chances, but I was already pushing hard. Congratulations to Dovi on his first podium, he earned it."


Julian Simon >> retired

"We have worked very well the whole weekend, and I want to thank the team for the great work that they have done, since the set up on the motorbike improved in each session. In the race I started well and I rode aggressively on the first few laps, since it was vital to get a fast pace and get away from the chasing group.

I managed to get away with three others but I think that it would have been more complicated to continue following Bautista because today he was quite fast. However, I believe that it would have been feasible to fight for the podium with Aoyama and Simoncelli. But we have another race in Valencia next week and I am looking forward to it because I want to go there and have a good weekend."


Esteve Rabat >> fell

"This was a very difficult race since we had a lot of problems with both the chassis and the engine, and in the end I don't know very well what happened but I fell.

I was not going too well either but the team gave me everything and did a great job, and I did my best, but in the end the results are not coming for us. I hope that in the next race I can do things right, although now I have to rest since in a couple of days we will be in Valencia to give our all again. I don't understand the fall very well; I was not going very fast but suddenly the bike went from under me."

-credit: repsol

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Alvaro Bautista , Julian Simon , Mika Kallio , Hiroshi Aoyama , Dani Pedrosa , Phillip Island
Teams Repsol Honda Team