Thomas Luthi denied Stefan Bradl a chance to wrap up the Moto2 world championship by winning at Sepang, as Bradl's title rival Marc Marquez had to miss the race.
Injuries from his violent crash in Friday practice forced Marquez to sit out the Malaysian round. Since the crash on an unflagged wet patch right at the start of opening practice, Marquez had only completed two qualifying laps, and this morning it was finally confirmed that he was not fit enough to start.
That meant Bradl could win the championship with a race victory, and for much of the distance that result looked likely, as the German quickly passed polesitter Luthi's Interwetten Suter and then established a one-second advantage.
But Luthi closed in on the Kiefer Kalex and slid into the lead at the final corner with two laps to go.
Bradl stayed on his tail and might have retaliated, but the race was then red-flagged slightly early after Axel Pons had a heavy crash, ensuring Luthi claimed his first Moto2 win and leaving Bradl 23 points ahead of Marquez heading for Valencia.
Pol Espargaro took third place for Speed Up, with Alex de Angelis battling through to fourth on the JIR Motobi, just in front of Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP Suter), Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Suter), Michele Pirro (Gresini Moriwaki) and Aleix Espargaro (Pons Kalex). Yuki Takahashi had been third on the other Gresini bike initially, before going off.
Results - 17 laps: Pos Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap 1. Thomas Luthi Interwetten Suter 36m35.114s 2. Stefan Bradl Kiefer Kalex + 0.187s 3. Pol Espargaro Speed Up FTR + 7.465s 4. Alex de Angelis JIR Motobi + 9.127s 5. Dominique Aegerter Technomag-CIP Suter + 11.494s 6. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Suter + 11.903s 7. Michele Pirro Gresini Moriwaki + 12.568s 8. Aleix Espargaro Pons Kalex + 12.963s 9. Andrea Iannone Speed Master Suter + 14.098s 10. Scott Redding Marc VDS Suter + 16.697s 11. Esteve Rabat Blusens FTR + 19.568s 12. Kenan Sofuoglu Technomag-CIP Suter + 24.885s 13. Jules Cluzel Forward Suter + 25.345s 14. Mike di Meglio Tech 3 + 26.696s 15. Xavier Simeon Tech 3 + 32.806s 16. Joan Olive Castello FTR + 32.979s 17. Jordi Torres Aspar Suter + 33.179s 18. Mohamad Zamri Baba Petronas Moriwaki + 36.497s 19. Ivan Moreno Aspar Suter + 40.569s 20. Hafizh Syahrin Petronas Moriwaki + 56.756s 21. Randy Krummenacher Kiefer Kalex + 1m05.966s 22. Robertino Pietri Italtrans Suter + 1m06.110s 23. Mashel Al Naimi QMMF Moriwaki + 1m17.083s 24. Axel Pons Pons Kalex + 1m19.415s 25. Kenny Noyes Avintia FTR + 1 lap Retirements: Raffaele de Rosa Forward Suter 12 laps Mattia Pasini Ioda FTR 8 laps Santiago Hernandez SAG FTR 7 laps Apiwat Wongthananon SAG FTR 7 laps Valentin Debise Speed Up FTR 6 laps Yuki Takahashi Gresini Moriwaki 5 laps Claudio Corti Italtrans Suter 3 laps Simone Corsi Ioda FTR 3 laps Anthony West MZ 1 lap Max Neukirchner MZ 1 lap Yonny Hernandez Blusens FTR DSQ