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Race report
MotoGP Malaysian GP

MotoGP Malaysian GP: Bastianini takes comeback win, Bagnaia opens points lead

Ducati’s Enea Bastianini romped to a first MotoGP victory since Aragon last September on Sunday at the Malaysian Grand Prix, as team-mate Francesco Bagnaia extneded his championship lead.

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team

Bastianini has enjoyed his best weekend of the season at the Sepang International Circuit, having made a breakthrough with the set-up of his Ducati to improve his corner-entry performance.

In a year in which he missed eight trands prix through numerous injury woes, Bastianini’s factory Ducati seat has come under threat, as rumours mount that Jorge Martin could be promoted to Pramac.

Leading from Turn 1 from third on the grid, Bastianini stormed clear of Gresini’s Alex Marquez to score his fifth grand prix victory and first as a factory Ducati rider by 1.535 seconds.

Marquez held onto second to add to his sprint win from Saturday, while Bagnaia saw off an early challenge from title rival Jorge Martin to complete the podium.

This has opened Bagnaia’s championship lead up to 14 points moving to next weekend’s Qatar GP, with Martin fourth in the race at Sepang.

Pramac’s Martin looked to get the better initial launch off the line at the start of the 20-lap grand prix, but ran wide on the run into Turn 1.

This allowed Bastianini to come through on the inside to take the lead, as Marquez on the Gresini Ducati jumped up to second ahead of Bagnaia.

Martin dropped to fifth behind VR46 Ducati’s Marco Bezzecchi in the opening corners, but quickly moved back ahead at Turn 14 with a tight move.

The top two already had a 0.5s lead over Bagnaia come the end of lap one, while two laps later Martin launched a raid on third.

Martin tried to go up the inside of Bagnaia at the Turn 14 right-hander, but ran slightly wide and allowed his factory Ducati counterpart to scythe back past.

At Turn 4 on lap four, Martin tried again but ran wide once more, letting Bagnaia lean on him into Turn 5 and hold onto third.

After this battling, the top two were already 1.5s clear of Bagnaia, who was starting to drop Martin.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

A battle for the lead never materialised, with Bastianini steadily extending his lead over Marquez as he went unchallenged to the chequered flag.

Bagnaia streaked 6.9s clear of Martin, while Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo was a fighting fifth after passing Bezzecchi late on.

Sixth for Bezzecchi has officially ruled him out of the championship battle.

Franco Morbidelli was seventh on the second factory Yamaha ahead of KTM’s Jack Miller, Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio and VR46’s Luca Marini.

Maverick Vinales was the only Aprilia to see the chequered flag in 11th, as crashes for team-mate Aleix Espargaro, RNF’s Miguel Oliveira and a technical issue for RNF’s Raul Fernandez ruled them out.

Johann Zarco was a distant 12th on his Pramac Ducati ahead of Honda’s Marc Marquez, who recovered from 20th on the grid, while Tech3 GasGas duo Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro completed the top 15.

Alvaro Bautista was 17th in his grand prix wildcard with Ducati, while crashes for KTM’s Brad Binder and Honda’s Joan Mir ended their races early.

MotoGP Malaysian GP - Race results:

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Retirement Points
1 Italy E. Bastianini Ducati Team 23 Ducati 20

-

      25
2 Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 20

+1.535

1.535

1.535     20
3 Italy F. Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 20

+3.562

3.562

2.027     16
4 Spain J. Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 20

+10.526

10.526

6.964     13
5 France F. Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 20

+15.000

15.000

4.474     11
6 Italy M. Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 20

+16.946

16.946

1.946     10
7 Italy F. Morbidelli Yamaha Factory Racing 21 Yamaha 20

+18.553

18.553

1.607     9
8 Australia J. Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 20

+19.204

19.204

0.651     8
9 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing 49 Ducati 20

+19.399

19.399

0.195     7
10 Italy L. Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 20

+19.740

19.740

0.341     6
11 Spain M. Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 20

+21.189

21.189

1.449     5
12 France J. Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 20

+23.598

23.598

2.409     4
13 Spain M. Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 20

+27.079

27.079

3.481     3
14 Spain A. Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 20

+28.940

28.940

1.861     2
15 Spain P. Espargaro Tech 3 44 KTM 20

+29.849

29.849

0.909     1
16 Spain I. Lecuona Team LCR 27 Honda 20

+50.960

50.960

21.111      
17 Spain A. Bautista Ducati Team 19 Ducati 20

+53.564

53.564

2.604      
18 Japan T. Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 20

+1'42.162

1'42.162

48.598      
dnf South Africa B. Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 11

 

    Retirement  
dnf Spain A. Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 8

 

    Retirement  
dnf Spain R. Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 6

 

    Retirement  
dnf Portugal M. Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 5

 

    Retirement  
dnf Spain J. Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 4

 

    Retirement  

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