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Race report
MotoGP Malaysian GP

MotoGP Malaysian GP: Marquez dominant in sprint, Martin slashes Bagnaia's points lead

Gresini’s Alex Marquez dominated the MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix sprint, as Jorge Martin cut into Francesco Bagnaia’s championship lead in second.

Alex Marquez, Gresini Racing

Starting first and second on the grid, all eyes were on the title rivals Bagnaia and Pramac’s Martin, with the former grabbing the holeshot.

But a hard charge from Alex Marquez proved too much for Bagnaia to resist, while an issue with debris getting caught in his factory Ducati’s front right wing further hindered him as he dropped to third.

Marquez took the chequered flag by over a second from Martin, whose second place has seen him chop two points out of Bagnaia’s standings lead to get it down to 11 ahead of Sunday’s grand prix.

Bagnaia held onto third despite intense late pressure from his rejuvenated team-mate Enea Bastianini, as Brad Binder got the better of KTM team-mate Jack Miller for fifth.

Alex Marquez qualified his Gresini Ducati fourth on the grid but leapt up to third off the line behind Bastianini and Bagnaia, as Martin slumped to fourth at the start of the 10-lap sprint.

Marquez quickly disposed of Bastianini for second at Turn 4 on the opening lap before Martin came past the factory Ducati rider for third at the penultimate corner.

At the end of lap two, Marquez would try a move on Bagnaia into the last corner, but ran wide and let the championship leader back into first.

This also let Martin through, with the Pramac rider and Marquez trading blows into Turn 1 – Martin holding firm in second.

Marquez would retake the position into Turn 4 on the third lap and took the lead two tours later into Turn 9.

The Gresini rider quickly broke away from Bagnaia, who lost second to Martin at the penultimate corner through a daring move on the inside from his Pramac rival.

Bagnaia’s afternoon got worse when a piece of debris attached itself to the right wing of his Ducati on lap seven, which dropped him quickly off the back of Martin and put him into the clutches of Bastianini.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

The debris worked itself free on lap eight, but the gap to Martin was too great to close.

At the front, Marquez extended his lead to 1.589s to take his second sprint win of the campaign, with Martin second and Bagnaia 0.208s clear of Bastianini.

Bastianini briefly lost fourth to Binder at the last corner, but was able to snatch the place back by 0.068s on the drag to the finish line.

Miller was sixth, 1.008s further back, with VR46 Ducati’s Marco Bezzecchi, Pramac’s Johann Zarco and the sister VR46 of Luca Marini completed the top nine.

Bezzecchi remains in mathematical championship contention in third in the standings, albeit 83 points adrift with only 99 left up for grabs in 2023.

Aprilia came up without points in the sprint as Maverick Vinales could only manage 10th, while Franco Morbidelli was the leading Yamaha in 11th after eighth-place starting team-mate Fabio Quartararo plummeted to 16th.

There were crashes for both factory Honda riders, with Marc Marquez rejoining to finish 21st and Mir taking last, with Ducati wildcard Alvaro Bautista sandwiched between them in 22nd.

MotoGP Malaysian GP - Sprint results:

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Retirement Points
1 Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 10

-

      12
2 Spain J. Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 10

+1.589

1.589

1.589     9
3 Italy F. Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 10

+3.034

3.034

1.445     7
4 Italy E. Bastianini Ducati Team 23 Ducati 10

+3.242

3.242

0.208     6
5 South Africa B. Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 10

+3.310

3.310

0.068     5
6 Australia J. Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 10

+4.318

4.318

1.008     4
7 Italy M. Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 10

+5.307

5.307

0.989     3
8 France J. Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 10

+5.501

5.501

0.194     2
9 Italy L. Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 10

+6.420

6.420

0.919     1
10 Spain M. Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 10

+7.241

7.241

0.821      
11 Italy F. Morbidelli Yamaha Factory Racing 21 Yamaha 10

+8.775

8.775

1.534      
12 Spain A. Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 10

+9.995

9.995

1.220      
13 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing 49 Ducati 10

+10.067

10.067

0.072      
14 Spain A. Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 10

+10.643

10.643

0.576      
15 Spain P. Espargaro Tech 3 44 KTM 10

+11.005

11.005

0.362      
16 France F. Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 10

+11.911

11.911

0.906      
17 Spain R. Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 10

+13.591

13.591

1.680      
18 Portugal M. Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 10

+15.058

15.058

1.467      
19 Japan T. Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 10

+16.015

16.015

0.957      
20 Spain I. Lecuona Team LCR 27 Honda 10

+23.484

23.484

7.469      
21 Spain M. Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 10

+24.930

24.930

1.446      
22 Spain A. Bautista Ducati Team 19 Ducati 10

+36.501

36.501

11.571      
23 Spain J. Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 10

+40.594

40.594

4.093      

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