Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix
Spectacular Dramatic Malaysian MotoGP Race
Rossi leads for 90% of the race then Márquez makes it nine wins this year
Valentino Rossi Leads The Way In The Race
Rossi was first away from the lights and was setting a blistering pace at the front, it looked like he was to end his 27 races without a win, he maintaining his lead and was holding off Márquez as the Repsol Honda man applied pressure late in the race when dramatically Rossi…
Read the Full Race Report Below
Dovizioso Goes Top Of FP1 Ahead Of Rossi And Viñales As Lorenzo Struggles
Andrea Dovizioso the Factory Ducati rider was fastest in free practice one ahead of a resurgent Movistar Yamaha pair Rossi and Maverick Viñales. His time was less than a tenth of a second ahead of Valentino Rossi on his Yamaha M1.
The Ducati rider, Dovizioso, winner of the last two Malaysian MotoGP races, went top with two minutes left in the 45 minute session. In a late flurry of fast times at Sepang, Dovi posted a 1 minute 59.697 seconds to push fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller off the top spot.
Miller had been the first rider to break the two minute barrier just a few minutes earlier, but his best time of 1 minute 59.941 seconds was out-shone by both factory Yamaha riders late on. The Factory Movistar Yamaha team were much encouraged as Rossi's team-mate Viñales also battled for the top spot.
As the chequered flag came out, Valentino Rossi did a time just 0.070 of a second slower than Dovizioso to take second and to leap up from outside the top 10 to second. Rossi's team-mate, the Phillip Island winner, Maverick Viñales, took third ahead of Miller riding his Alma Pramac Ducati well, he was only 0.161 of a second behind.
Miller's Alma Pramac team-mate, Danilo Petrucci made it a third Ducati into the top five with a time two tenths slower than while Álex Rins led the Ecstar Suzuki challenge in sixth after the team's drama on Thursday.
Álex Rins' Ecstar Suzuki team had an eventful start to his Malaysian MotoGP when one of his bikes caught fire during Thursday set-up. A fuel breather pipe sprayed petrol onto the hot exhaust pipe causing the fuel to ignite. After a lengthy over-night repair job the fire wasn't expected to cause any problems for Rins' race weekend.
Aleix Espargaró produced an eye-catching seventh place on the development 2019 Aprilia machine with Alvaro Bautista not far behind him, back with his Angel Nieto Ducati team after deputising for the injured Jorge Lorenzo in Australia.
Completing the top ten were Alvaro Bautista, Johann Zarco riding his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha and Marc Márquez, Factory Repsol Honda, who stayed out on used tyres until the end of the session.
The five-time world champion ended the session 1.104 seconds off the pace of Dovizioso, finishing up a place ahead of the second Ecstar Suzuki of Andrea Iannone.
Márquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa was 16th fastest, just behind the injured Cal Crutchlow's replacement and HRC Honda test rider, Stefan Bradl riding the LCR Castrol Honda.
Returning to MotoGP action was Jorge Lorenzo on the second Factory Ducati. He finished the slowest in 24th. It was his first time since his first practice two weeks ago in Motegi. He did a best time of 2 minutes 03.204 seconds and was 3.5 seconds off Dovizioso's time.
Lorenzo's injury comeback, having undergone surgery on his left wrist last week, which ruled him out of the Phillip Island race, saw him complete only 13 laps in FP1, joint fewest of any of the riders, with Xavier Simeon. The Factory Ducati rider firmly at the bottom of the times 3.507 seconds off his team-mate.
The Belgian, Simeon, was the only rider to crash during the session, he crashed his Reale Avintia Ducati at the long Turn 14 right-hander at the very end of the session.
Lorenzo said he was still in pain with his left wrist that he fractured in a crash in Thailand last month, with the same injury forcing him to miss the following race in Japan after a try-out in FP1.
Factory Ducati test rider, Michele Pirro, was on standby should Lorenzo decide to withdraw again.
MotoGP Free Practice 1 Classification
Sepang, Friday 2 November 2018
Rins takes top spot and leads Márquez in the second practice of the Malaysian MotoGP as Lorenzo continues to struggle.
Álex Rins the Ecstar Suzuki rider was fastest in second practice finishing ahead of Márquez by a little under a tenth of a second.
Márquez spent the opening half of the afternoon session on top, and until the final five minutes, he was the only rider from the top 10 in the first practice to improve his best time.
The marvellous Márquez managed to make four saves on his knees and elbows in the session while he pushed to find the limits of grip of his Factory Repsol Honda. He also did an impressive long run using hard front and soft rear Michelin tyres.
It all changed when Jack Miller on his Alma Pramac Ducati again became the first rider to dip beneath the two-minute mark with a best lap of 1 minute 59.771 seconds, which was then eclipsed by a 1 minute 59.701 seconds from Márquez.
Jack Miller, another to produce a late blitz on the times, bolted up to third place for the Alma Pramac Ducati Team with his late time attack to knock back the Phillip Island race-winner Maverick Viñales into fourth place on the Movistar Yamaha.
Rins having just slotted into second behind Miller, was able to find even a faster time on his final flying lap, turning in a 1minute 59.608 seconds to beat Honda rider Márquez by 0.093 seconds.
Miller's time was enough for third place, 0.163 seconds slower than Rins, ahead of Viñales on the best of the Yamahas and Danilo Petrucci on the second Alma Pramac Ducati.
Valentino Rossi had a time at the top of the timesheets in the second half of the session before Miller's quick time and Rossi ended sixth fastest, but failing to improve on his best effort from Friday morning. That time still left him fourth in the combined timesheets, behind Rins, FP1 pacesetter Andrea Dovizioso, who was only seventh fastest in FP2 and Márquez.
Johann Zarco's late fast dash saw him move up to eight place on the combined times to take a provisional Q2 spot on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha.
Zarco and Andrea Iannone, Ecstar Suzuki, kept their places in the top 10 overall by ending up eighth and ninth, Dani Pedrosa rounded out the top ten, but the Repsol Honda number 2 was outside the cut-off despite being 10th fastest in FP2.
It was Aleix Espargaró, Aprilia, who robbed him of it as he stayed 10th overall by virtue of his FP1 time after a session in which he finished 19th.
Scott Redding, Espargaró's Aprilia team-mate was the only rider to come off, he crashed at Turn 2. As Márquez managed another save at Turn 15, the final corner, not long afterwards.
Jorge Lorenzo continued to suffer on the second of the factory Ducatis, as he chose to continue to ride despite ending up slowest of all once again in both practice sessions.
Lorenzo didn't improve on his FP1 time, doing only nine laps, and was 5 seconds off Rins' pace.
The Factory Ducati Team had Michele Pirro on standby should Lorenzo decide not to race this weekend in Sepang.
MotoGP Free Practice 2 Classification
Sepang, Friday 2 November 2018
Fresh from Auzzie success Viñales threw down the gauntlet in to go fastest ahead of Márquez in the third free practice for the Malaysian MotoGP.
Maverick Viñales produced a fast final lap flyer to take to top spot at the end of FP3 away from Marc Márquez
Renewed and invigorated from his victory at Phillip Island, Viñales has continued to impress on his Factory Movistar Yamaha in Malaysia with a strong practice pace cumulating with his final lap of 1 minute 59.231 seconds to knock Márquez off the top spot by just 0.026 of a second and take the leader board of the time-sheets.
With the fight for automatic Q2 spots hotting up in the last 10 minutes, Jack Miller pushed his Alma Pramac Ducati hard to shoot up to third place with his late lap attack. Dani Pedrosa had a good session on his Repsol Honda to go fourth and Johann Zarco rode his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha well to fifth.
Danilo Petrucci on his Alma Pramac Ducati used his final flying lap to secure his Q2 spot with fifth place after having been under threat in 10th place. That meant Valentino Rossi was shuffled down to seventh place on his Movistar Yamaha unable to match his team-mate's outright pace on his late qualifying-style lap.
Andrea Iannone dropped his pace a little finishing eight quickest. Although he still managed to keep his Q2 spot, even though he failed to improve on his Ecstar Suzuki compared to his Friday practice pace. Alvaro Bautista was back on his Angel Nieto Ducati after racing Lorenzo's Factory Ducati last week and managed to get ninth. Bautista and Franco Morbidelli were tenth on his Marc VDS Honda went fast enough to go into the top ten in the session. However due to the faster times set previously they were unable to secure a Q2 spot.
Local star, Hafizh Syahrin was disappointed with 13th in front of his huge amount of fans.
Stepping in for the injured Cal Crutchlow was HRC Honda test-rider, the German Stefan Bradl. He brought the LCR Castrol Honda home in 11th followed by Pol Espargaró on his KTM. The other LCR man, Takaaki Nakagami brought the Idemitsu sponsored Honda in 14th.
Friday's fastest rider Álex Rins riding his Ecstar Suzuki could only manage 15th ahead of Aleix Espargaró on his Gresini Aprilia in 16th and the Sepang race-winner for the last two years, Andrea Dovizioso on the Factory Ducati was right behind him in 17th. Both Dovi and Rins opted not to hunt outright quick laps rather do some race set-up laps. They still managed to keep their places in Q2 on the combined times.
The Factory Ducati Team called upon their test-rider, Michele Pirro had been at Sepang on stand-by. Unfortunately Pirro ended the session on his back-side and down in 18th place, ahead of the other KTM man, Bradley Smith, who took 19th. Pirro managed to unceremoniously bin Lorenzo's bike on turn 15 half way through the session.
After Jorge Lorenzo announced his withdrawal from the remainder of the Malaysian MotoGP race weekend, saying he was unable to control his Ducati safely, due to his wrist injury.
MotoGP Free Practice 3 Classification
Sepang, Saturday 3 November 2018
Márquez top of the pops in free practice four at Sepang, in Malaysia MotoGP.
Márquez Fastest In The Final 20 Minute Practice Before The Malaysian MotoGP.
Early leaders Maverick Viñales and Andrea Dovizioso kept swapping places before Márquez took over at the top in the closing moments of the session. Ahead of Johann Zarco in fourth, Álex Rins, Andrea Iannone and Valentino Rossi in seventh.
It started dry before a heavy rain shower arrived at Sepang. This gave the riders all kinds of problems and caused the likes of Viñales, Abraham and Torres to fall at Turn 10.
Torres came down quite heavily and was taken to the Clinica Mobile medical centre. He injured his hand and took no further part in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
After persevering on Friday Lorenzo decided to withdrew after practice. Jorge Lorenzo said his injured wrist was too painful to enable him to be competitive.
He announced his withdrawal from the remainder of the Malaysian MotoGP race weekend, saying he was unable to control his Ducati safely. Ducati called upon their test-rider, Michele Pirro had been at Sepang on stand-by.
MotoGP Free Practice 4 Classification
Sepang, Saturday 3 November 2018
Weather Conditions Dry-Wet
Alvaro Bautista rider went fastest in Q1 on his Angel Nieto Ducati
The frantic Qualifying One session saw Bautista and Espargaró go quickest. Scott Redding was the 'unlucky 13th' placed rider, to miss out on making it into the Q2, finishing ahead of Michele Pirro, who came into qualifying one with only a dry FP3 and mixed conditions of FP4 to get to grips with Lorenzo's Factory Ducati GP18.
Aleix Espargaró and Bautista ended the top two in a delayed wet Qualifying one. Bautista and Espargaró progressed from Q1 and were promoted up to Q2 to fight for their grid positions for the race. The other riders from Q1 will start from 13th downwards on the grid.
Brit Scott Redding almost got a Q2 place as he managed his best qualifying result of the year after pushing his Factory Aprilia to 13th, though almost half a second from the Q2 progression places.
Xavier Simeon, riding the recovering Tito Rabat's Reale Avintia Ducati, also impressed with a late push to get 14th on the grid ahead of Red Bull KTM pair Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith.
Bradley Smith was the early pacesetter on his KTM, after his initial runs he went top of Q1. Then late in the session Smith, looking to go even faster with two red sectors, came off at the Turn 11, the right-hander, so he sprinted back to the garage for his second bike. Only to miss the end-of-session flag by only a few seconds. After his out lap he couldn't make it in time to do another fast lap. Therefore he dropped down to 17th behind his KTM team-mate Espargaró.
Jorge Lorenzo after a painful Friday, due to his wrist injury, decided just before FP3, not to race this weekend. He said "it was too difficult to control my bike when I'm in so much pain."
Therefore, Michele Pirro replaced Lorenzo and qualified a credible 13th after only having two sessions aboard Lorenzo's Factory Ducati. Pirro was inside the top two as the session reached its closing stages, but a mistake on his final lap meant he was pushed down to 14th ahead of Reale Avintia's Xavier Simeon, whose 15th place is his best qualifying of his rookie season.
Thomas Lüthi was another to crash his Marc VDS Honda in Q1, but had already done a time good enough for 18th to out qualify his Marc VDS team-mate, Franco Morbidelli for only the second time this season.
Morbidelli and Stefan Bradl also struggled on their respective Hondas. The HRC Honda test-rider, Bradl was replacing Cal Crutchlow on his LCR Castrol Honda and he was 20th fastest.
Karel Abraham, Takaaki Nakagami and Hafizh Syahrin completed the qualifying 1 riders to finish. It was a particularly disappointing session for Syahrin, the local hero, in the wet conditions.
Syahrin is the first Malaysian to compete in MotoGP's premier class in front of his home crowd, he is the reason every seat in all the grandstands sold out.
Hafizh Syahrin was struggling on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha in the difficult conditions. He was very dissatisfied with his Q1 performance and will start the race from last of the 23rd man grid in a depleted field.
Syahrin said afterwards
"I am very sorry to all my fans who come here today and to my team, who have been working so good. I just didn't feel safe to push harder. I hope it be dry for the race as I do not like these conditions.
"So I have to start a long way behind. I will try my best to give my fans a good show and get up as far as I can in the race. I am looking forward to this challenge in my first home race on a powerful MotoGP Yamaha M1.
"I want to thank Herve, my team and all my fans for their support. I hope I will make a good race and something to make them happy."
Jordi Torres, the Reale Avintia Ducati Racing replacement for Tito Rabat, had a heavy crash at the end of Free Practice 4. He was taken to the Clinica Mobile MotoGP medical centre and was diagnosed with a hand injury and did not take any further part in the race weekend.
MotoGP Qualifying 1 Classification
Sepang, Saturday 3 November 2018
Weather Conditions Wet
Malaysian Drama In MotoGP Q2
As Márquez blocks Iannone in Qualifying 2, the incident gets the Spaniard a race grid penalty of two rows
The Repsol Honda number one rider Márquez clearly blocked Andrea Iannone during Q2, because of the incident Márquez was penalised and, instead of starting from pole in the Malaysian GP, he will start from row 3 in seventh.
Márquez was given a six place grid penalty for blocking Iannone in qualifying. However, Márquez took the wet Sepang pole despite a fall in the 15 minute session.
Márquez did put himself in pole position for the Malaysian MotoGP despite crashing midway through the wet Qualifying 2 session. In the closing minutes Johann Zarco leapt up to second place ahead of Valentino Rossi.
The Repsol Honda rider looked comfortably faster than his rivals, quickly getting up to speed in the wet following a heavy rain shower which delayed qualifying by 80 minutes at Sepang, with the 2018 MotoGP world champion notching in a 2 minute 12.161 seconds to pull out over one second on the rest with his second flying lap.
However even Márquez couldn't save another slide on his Repsol Honda and crashed at Turn 4 on his third fast lap, sliding off in the wet conditions, but kept his top spot for his seventh pole position of the season.
Zarco seems to have found his early season form on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. During the session he went up the time-sheets to second place on his final lap, ending it over half a second behind Márquez, but displacing Rossi into third.
Andrea Iannone appeared to benefit from following Márquez on his best lap to take fourth, despite coming close to colliding with Márquez, the Repsol Honda rider, while Andrea Dovizioso could only managed fifth place in the challenging conditions and following a late crash at Turn 9.
Jack Miller's new found form on his Alma Pramac Ducati completed the second row in front of his team-mate, Danilo Petrucci who was able to get on row three joined by Friday's fastest rider Álex Rins and Q1 graduate Alvaro Bautista on his Angel Nieto Ducati.
Dani Pedrosa managed 10th place on the second Factory Honda ahead of Maverick Viñales who was struggling in the wet, 2.6s off pole-man Márquez even though he could match him in the dry on his Movistar Yamaha M1. Next up was the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaró completing the top 12 after he also crashed early in the session.
MotoGP Qualifying 2 Classification
Sepang, Saturday 3 November 2018
Weather Conditions Wet
A Melodramatic Malaysian Race
Rossi leads from the off with Márquez in pursuit
Valentino Rossi led for 90% of the race then slides out to hand Márquez the Malaysian GP win.
Long time race leader Valentino Rossi rear tyre let go in turn one, late on in the Malaysian Grand Prix to hand Márquez an easy victory and Honda win the MotoGP constructors' title.
Rossi setting a blistering pace at the front, looked like he was to set to end his 27 races without a win. He was comfortably maintaining his lead and was holding off Márquez as the Repsol Honda man applied pressure late in the race, when dramatically Rossi slid out of the race at Turn 1. Allowing Márquez to take his ninth win of the year and his 70th career win.
At the end of the sighting lap, the riders formed up on the grid, engines revving, the lights went out and Rossi made a great start on his Movistar Yamaha to take the lead.
Rossi took the hole shot from second on the grid, while pole man Johann Zarco made a bad start, he made up ground on the first turn to shadow his Yamaha stable mate ahead of Jack Miller on his Alma Pramac Ducati.
Into turn one, Márquez made up one place from seventh start, making contact with his Repsol Honda team-mate, Dani Pedrosa, as the pair went side-by-side through Turn 3, with the world champion surviving a moment on the rear at the final turn at the end of the first lap.
Ecstar Suzuki's Andrea Iannone was right behind Márquez when he had his moment, and instinctively braked and crashed in a reaction to Márquez's slide.
Iannone was out of the race on the opening lap after being unsettled by Márquez's who almost came off directly ahead of him at the final corner.
Márquez then sliced his way by Miller to take third at the end of the second lap, with Zarco falling victim to the charging Spaniard on the fifth lap as Zarco, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider ran wide at Turn 14.
Rossi began to open up a lead of seven tenths, which he increased to over a second as the race went into the second half of the race.
Rossi and Márquez then traded fastest laps to pull away at the front with the Movistar Yamaha rider gapping up to 1.7 seconds clear at the halfway stage. Sepang, the venue of their infamous 2015 clash.
Márquez had Zarco for close company for some time, but managed to break away later on to chase after the race leader, Rossi, reducing the Yamaha rider's gap to eight tenths with six laps remaining. Márquez kept the pressure on Rossi and the gap decreased to seven tenths, lap-on-lap.
Rossi responded and kept his lead hovering around that margin, though Márquez dug deep and closed the gap to six tenths as the pair crossed the line with four laps remaining.
However, Rossi's race lasted only a few more seconds as he went down going through the first corner. His rear tyre cried enough and let go, allowing Márquez to cruise to his ninth win of the season to get nearer to Honda taking the Triple Crown.
Álex Rins made a late move on his Ecstar Suzuki to pass Zarco to go second ahead of the Frenchman, meanwhile Maverick Viñales made up six places throughout the race to get up to fourth after struggling in a wet qualifying left him down in 11th on the grid.
Rins snatched the runner-up spot from Zarco on the final lap to maintain Ecstar Suzuki's strong end to the season. With the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider having to settle for third place, he took top spot away from the injured Cal Crutchlow in the MotoGP Independent Riders' standings.
Dani Pedrosa had a resurgence to get up to the top five on the second Repsol Honda to equal his best result since Aragon.
The sole Factory Ducati to finish, Andrea Dovizioso didn't have the pace of the leaders and came a distant sixth, the first of all the Ducatis to cross the line.
Alvaro Bautista was seventh on his return to his Angel Nieto Ducati Team back on his own Ducati GP17, with the Alma Pramac duo Miller and Danilo Petrucci following him.
Flying the Malaysian flag, the home hero Hafizh Syahrin had a great ride, starting from the very back of the grid he progressively made his way past the riders to take a well-earned tenth and the first rookie home, to keep his 'Rookie of the Year' chances alive.
The final points were taken by Aleix Espargaró on his Aprilia, Franco Morbidelli riding his Marc VDS Honda, next were the LCR duo, Stefan Bradl riding in place of the injured Cal Crutchlow, his LCR teammate Takaaki Nakagami on his Idemitsu sponsored Honda and Bradley Smith taking 15th on his KTM.
The others to complete the 20 lap race were Thomas Lüthi bringing his Marc VDS Honda in 16th, Reale Avintia Ducati Belgian, Xavier Simeon just ahead of the remounted Valentino Rossi managing to bring the stricken Movistar Yamaha in 18th and Britain's Scott Redding in the final finishing place.
The other Brit, Bradley Smith had another good ride and took the final one point in 15th place.
While his KTM team-mate, Pol Espargaró had to retire with a technical issue, as also Karel Abraham had problems with his Angel Nieto Ducati.
Michele Pirro the Factory Ducati test-rider, riding in place of the injured Jorge Lorenzo, ended up in the Turn 15 gravel trap the same place he ended his qualifying session.
MotoGP Race Classification
Sepang, Sunday 4 November 2018
Post Race Rider Interviews and Reactions
Some of the MotoGP Riders share their thoughts about their race.
Race Winner Marc Márquez Spanish Repsol Honda Team #93
Race Points 25, Championship Position First, 321 Championship points
Márquez celebrates his win with a big wheelie over the finish line
"It was a hard race, first of all because I was starting from seventh place. I didn't get a perfect start, and then my first lap was good but not one of the best of my career. Step by step, I overtook some riders and got to second place.
"I saw that Valentino was pushing and I started to chase him, lapping at qualifying pace! But in the process, I overheated the rear tyre; the front was also warming up quickly and the feeling wasn't good. So for a few laps, I just tried to cool down and in so doing I began to feel better and better.
"I saw I was getting closer to Valentino and honestly that gave me extra motivation. At that moment, it was just a matter of instinct and pushing, something that you can do when you've already got the Championship.
"Unfortunately, he made a little mistake in turn one, which is a shame as it would have been nice to see how the duel would have ended. Anyway, when I saw him crash, I just cooled down and focused on finishing the race.
"We won, and that was the best way to seal the Constructors Championship. I would also like to congratulate Jorge Martin and "Pecco" Bagnaia for taking Championships. We'll celebrate together in Valencia."
Second Álex Rins 11th Spanish Team Suzuki Ecstar #42
Race points 20, Championship Position Fifth, 149 Championship points
"I feel very happy because our race pace was strong and I was able to close the gaps to the other riders and pass them during the race.
"I still had very good pace even in the last few laps because I was able to manage the tyres well, but I lost time earlier in the race so that made it more difficult. We're working really hard and we have found important things and learned more for next year.
"I'm very excited to go to Valencia, especially as we are feeling very strong with the bike now, and Suzuki deserve to end the season on a high."
Third Johann Zarco French Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team #5
Race Points 16, Championship Position Sixth, 149 Championship points
"I'm pretty happy, it was a fantastic race! But also difficult like usually in Malaysia. I was tired at the end, but the energy is coming back already.
"I think the key for that podium was the beginning of the race. I was thinking about overtaking Valentino, but he was fast and it was good to be behind him. I could go away, but did a little mistake, when Marc overtook me. I tried to stay behind Marc, had a little gap, but was able to keep a good pace and then Valentino crashed, so I was second.
"I thought I can control, but four laps to the end Álex was faster than me. Even if I was controlling the race well, when I tried to push a little bit more on the last laps, but I just got three tenths faster, which was not fast enough to keep the gap.
"He overtook me on the last lap. I tried to fight again, but I didn't have any rear grip anymore. Anyway, the third place is a good finish."
Fourth Maverick Viñales Spanish Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team #25
Race Points 13, Championship Position Fourth, 193 Championship points
"I already said yesterday that we lost the race in qualifying. This morning I went out in the wet again and I finished first.
"Everything in MotoGP is so close now, so you have to start at the front. The tyre wear also gets worse when you're fighting your way up from the back, you destroy the tyres.
"I was close to the podium, but with four laps to go the tyre dropped a lot and I couldn't do anything about it. The team worked very well this weekend, they provided me with a really good bike.
"I think that, if I had started from the front, I would have been fighting for the race. I'm actually really happy that at three different tracks I was in contention to win. I think there are still many things that we can improve on, but things are better compared to before, and now I can be more consistent.
"I think Valencia will be a good track for us, I really like the track, it's good for my riding style, so let's see."
Fifth Dani Pedrosa Spanish Repsol Honda Team #26
Race Points 11 Championship Position 11th, 106 Championship points
"Today I focused a lot on the start because I was very far back on the grid. The start itself wasn't perfect, but then I was able to recover a few places in the first corner.
"Unfortunately, I lost some ground with Dovi and Marc just a couple of turns later. Anyway, the feeling at the beginning of the race was good enough and I was able to stay there close to the front. On the other hand, toward the end I began struggling with grip again and I was passed by Rins and Viñales. All in all it was a little bit better race than usual.
"I would like to congratulate Martin for his title. He was able to overcome some difficulties this year, an injury and other issues, and he had a strong race today. He totally deserves this result."
Sixth Andrea Dovizioso Italian Ducati Team #04
Race Points 10, Championship Position Second, 220 Championship points
"I have to admit that today I'm disappointed because I wasn't able to do the race I expected and suffered a lot with a lack of grip.
"As I said on Thursday, I had hoped for a dry race because we have always gone well in testing and practice in these conditions, but today I really struggled a lot and now we have to understand exactly what happened.
"In the end, thanks to Rossi's error, we succeeded in taking home second place overall both in the Riders' and Constructors' standings, and I'm happy with this result even though this year we weren't really able to oppose Márquez.
"I wish to thank the team because we have managed to do a great job, especially from mid-season onwards, but it's not enough and we will still have to continue to work with commitment."
Seventh Alvaro Bautista Spanish Angel Nieto Ducati Team #19
Race Points 9 Championship Position 12th, 105 Championship points
"I struggled quite a lot with rear grip, I was losing a lot of traction on the exits of the corners and the bike was sliding around and running wide. I was quite limited with what I could do but I gave the maximum I could.
"We have finished as the second Ducati, four seconds behind Dovizioso on the factory bike, which I think is a good result and it keeps up my recent run of top ten finishes. It has been a good spell for us here in Asia."
Eighth Jack Miller Australian Alma Pramac Ducati Racing Team #43
Race Points 8 Championship Position 13th, 91 Championship points
"We chose to use the medium tyre at the rear to try to do something different than the others. But we didn't get the results we hoped for.
"From the beginning, I felt a lot of vibrations that didn't allow me to have a competitive race pace. Honestly I expected more from this race".
Ninth Danilo Petrucci Italian Alma Pramac Ducati Racing Team #9
Race Points 7 Championship Position Eighth, 144 Championship points
"I'm not happy with the way things went today. We had a good pace throughout the weekend but today I couldn't manage the tyres and I struggled since the start. I tried to do my best but the temperature didn't help.
"Conditions will be different at Valencia and I hope to get a good result to finish the season".
Tenth Hafizh Syahrin Malaysian Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team #55
Race Points 6 Championship Position 16th, 40 Championship points
"It's just unbelievable! First of all, I want to say thank you very much to my team, because they always believe in me and give me great motivation.
"Yesterday has been a disaster for us, but we made up for it. In the starting grid, I saw my father and was just emotional and had to hug him. I want to thank everybody that came here.
"To arrive in the top 10 for my home GP was my target, but to be honest, I didn't believe it was possible. But in the end, we did it, which is incredible. I want to thank everybody; I love my family and my fans. I'm so happy!"
Valentino Rossi 18th Italian Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team #46
No Race Points Championship Position Third, 195 Championship points
"It was a great shame because this was my best race of the season. I felt comfortable, I had a good pace, I pushed, and I had the chance to win.
"But unfortunately with four or five laps to go I fell - I don't understand what happened. I made a mistake, because I crashed.
"It's such a pity, but it still remains a good weekend, because we improved the setting of the bike. I think we have to do some more work, but it looks like we were able to use the bike in a better way in the last few races.
"This is good, but we have to see if we're also strong in Valencia. It's a difficult track for us in general, but we have to try."
What The British Riders Had To Say
Bradley Smith 15th Smith British Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team #38
1 Race Point Championship Position 19th, 30 Championship points
"We were lacking performance all race with some technical issues which meant I couldn't set my normal lap-times. I could still finish the race and took a point, which was a positive and there are just five points between Pol and me going into the last race.
"Five points is difficult to gain but it is still fun to be going into that situation. We worked well all weekend and the guys clearly know what they need to do and what they need to fix.
"I'm quite excited about Valencia. It will be my last Grand Prix in the MotoGP Championship and it is a track I enjoy. We'll go there optimistic and keen to finish this chapter with KTM in a positive way."
Scott Redding 19th British Aprilia Racing Team Gresini #45
No Race Point Championship Position 21st, 15 Championship points
"Unfortunately, my race today ended after six laps. We had problems with grip throughout the weekend and as soon as the tyres began to wear a bit, it was impossible for me to push."Riding very aggressively, the improvement in times was minimum, so I was forced to set my sights on just finishing the race."
The MotoGP Championships
All three of this year's MotoGP championships have now been decided so it's now only the lower places the in the rider's table to fight for.
The Fight For Third
With Rossi scoring no points at Sepang, his team-mate Viñales has crept right up to only two points behind him for third place in the Championship.
Will Rossi keep his third place?
The Battle For Fifth
Also it's so close for fifth place and the top independent riders' title, with Rins and Zarco tying on 149 points, Crutchlow 1 point behind them and Petrucci four adrift of him. Although Crutchlow is at a disadvantage as he's injured and not certain if he'll race in Valencia for the last race.
In 5th are Álex Rins, Ecstar Suzuki Team and Johann Zarco, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha both with 149 points, 7th Cal Crutchlow, LCR Castrol Honda has 148 points and in 8th Danilo Petrucci, Alma Pramac Ducati Racing is only five behind with 144 points.
So it's still to be decided and all to play for.
2018 MotoGP World Championship Standing
At 4 November 2018
The 2018 Championship order at the moment, Márquez, Dovizioso and Rossi
The last race of this year is next
Race 19 of the exciting 2018 championship.
Now we return to Europe for the final race of this exciting season, to the circuit of Valencia in Spain.
The Valencia Action starts Friday 16th November with the race on Sunday the 18th.
Last year it was quiet a race, with a battle royale from the beginning. Lorenzo appeared to hold up championship contender, Dovizioso. Zarco was the early leader going for his first MotoGP win. Márquez had to beat Dovizioso to win the title and he was making allsorts of shapes in an effort to try and stay ahead of Dovi.
Then he nearly crashed, but unfortunately Dovi did come off and was out of the race. Zarco looked like he was going to get his first win but Pedrosa had other ideas. A battle with the Frenchman ensued in the last few laps. Pedrosa got ahead to take the victory and Márquez won the Championship for another year.
This year the track action starts on Friday 16th November with the last race of the MotoGP season on the Sunday.
As per the usual, each of the sessions will be documented on in my full report.
That will all be on this website soon after the flag waves for the last race and the party is over for another year.
- Roland Potter