Sepang MotoGP: Marc Marquez takes record-equalling 12th win of 2014

Marc Marquez took his first MotoGP victory since August as he defeated Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang

Sepang MotoGP: Marc Marquez takes record-equalling 12th win of 2014

After his astounding streak of 10 wins in the first 10 grands prix of 2014, Marquez had only won once in the following six races, and crashed in three of them.

He finally put that right in Malaysia, though only after a first-corner brush with Lorenzo that dropped him to eighth.

Lorenzo had made a good start to put his Yamaha between Honda duo Dani Pedrosa and Marquez as they approached Turn 1, where contact between the two champions sent both wide.

While Marquez dropped all the way to eighth, Lorenzo pulled back onto the line in third place, and then swiftly overtook both fast-starter Andrea Dovizioso's Ducati and Pedrosa to lead at the end of the opening lap.

Pedrosa then fell from second place at the final corner on lap two, but there was little respite for Lorenzo as Valentino Rossi and the recovering Marquez were soon on his tail.

The lead trio spent the first half of the race covered by just a few tenths as they ran in a very tense three-bike train.

After many, many attempts under braking, Rossi finally got ahead of Lorenzo at half-distance.

Marquez followed the Italian soon afterwards, with Lorenzo - who was running a harder front tyre than his rivals - then falling away in third place.

Rossi held on a little longer before Marquez made it past, although it took the final two laps of the race for the Honda to shake the Yamaha off completely.

Marquez's win draws him level with Mick Doohan for the record of 12 premier class victories in a single season, and he can now break that mark in the season finale at Valencia in a fortnight.

Rossi's second place increases his advantage over Lorenzo in the battle for the championship runner-up spot. This is now an all-Yamaha affair with Pedrosa out of contention after crashing for good when back up to 13th place.

Dovizioso developed a problem in the closing laps and tumbled right back to eighth place, which meant Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith ended up battling for fourth, with the German coming out on top.

Pol Espargaro bravely rode to sixth despite breaking a bone in his foot in a Saturday practice crash and having some very close calls with Yonny Hernandez, who finished seventh.

Attrition levels were high again: in addition to Andrea Iannone non-starting due to arm injuries from a Friday clash with Marquez, Aleix Espargaro and Alvaro Bautista collided early on, and Cal Crutchlow parked his Ducati from sixth with a mechanical problem.

RESULTS - 20 LAPS:

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap
1 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 40m45.523s
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 2.445s
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha 3.508s
4 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 21.234s
5 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 22.283s
6 Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha 34.668s
7 Yonny Hernandez Pramac Racing Ducati 38.435s
8 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 48.839s
9 Hector Barbera Avintia Racing Ducati 50.792s
10 Scott Redding Gresini Racing Honda 59.088s
11 Hiroshi Aoyama Aspar Honda 1m15.949s
12 Michael Laverty Paul Bird Motorsport PBM/Aprilia 1m17.966s
13 Mike Di Meglio Avintia Racing Avintia/Kawasaki 1m27.773s
14 Broc Parkes Paul Bird Motorsport PBM/Aprilia 1m44.244s
- Alex de Angelis Forward Racing Forward Yamaha Retirement
- Danilo Petrucci IodaRacing Project ART/Aprilia Retirement
- Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda Retirement
- Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing Honda Retirement
- Nicky Hayden Aspar Honda Retirement
- Cal Crutchlow Ducati Ducati Retirement
- Aleix Espargaro Forward Racing Forward Yamaha Retirement
- Alvaro Bautista Gresini Racing Honda Retirement
- Andrea Iannone Pramac Racing Ducati Withdrawn

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER 17 OF 18 ROUNDS:

Pos Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 337
2 Valentino Rossi 275
3 Jorge Lorenzo 263
4 Dani Pedrosa 230
5 Andrea Dovizioso 174
6 Pol Espargaro 126
7 Bradley Smith 119
8 Aleix Espargaro 117
9 Stefan Bradl 109
10 Andrea Iannone 102
11 Alvaro Bautista 89
12 Scott Redding 75
13 Hiroshi Aoyama 67
14 Cal Crutchlow 63
15 Yonny Hernandez 53
16 Nicky Hayden 44
17 Karel Abraham 33
18 Hector Barbera 21
19 Alex de Angelis 14
20 Danilo Petrucci 13
21 Colin Edwards 11
22 Michele Pirro 11
23 Broc Parkes 9
24 Michael Laverty 9
25 Mike Di Meglio 9
26 Katsuyuki Nakasuga 4
27 Leon Camier 1

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Sepang MotoGP: Marc Marquez takes record 13th pole of 2014
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