Coming into the 2013 MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix, Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez was in the driver's seat for the season long points championship. A second place finish extended his points lead to 43, but nothing came easy for Marquez on an exciting day of racing in Malaysia. The MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix is held annually at the SepangInternational Circuit, one of the most interesting circuits in the world. Sepang is a very long circuit, checking in at 5.54 kilometers long, and features wide straightaways with a combination of slow and fast turns.
Each design element was put in place to promote exciting racing, with high speeds, quick turns, and ample room for dramatic passing maneuvers. The MotoGP racers in this year's Grand Prix allowed the circuit to live up to its great reputation, and then some. ForMarquez, the main competition for first place came from teammate Dani Pedrosa, who would go on to win the race in Malaysia for his first victory since last May. With only a few races left in the season, Pedrosa's victory put him in position to be one of the few racers left who can challenge Marquez for the season's points championship.
Another championship hopeful, defending champ Jorge Lorenzo, got off to a fast start in the MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix. He was quick out of the gate, so to speak, leading into the first turn and holding on to first place until the fifth lap. During the fifth lap, however,Pedrosa made his move on Lorenzo, making a successful pass on his way to first place, and never looking back for the rest of the race.
With Pedrosa firmly establishing his place at the front of the race, Lorenzo and Marquezwere left to battle it out for second place, and what a battle it was. Adding to the storyline of their duel, Marquez was penalized for brushing a little too close to Lorenzo during the last MotoGP race at Aragon. Though there was little animosity between the two in the lead-up to this week's race, the penalty saga certainly added a bit of zest to an already exciting race.
Marquez, the rookie sensation who has taken the MotoGP world by storm, had his work cut out for him in passing Lorenzo. Lorenzo was able to hold on to second position through the ninth lap, but eventually ceded to the relentless pace of Marquez. At one point, Lorenzo attempted a tight pass of his own on the rookie, but Marquez was not fazed. In the end, Marquez took second, with Lorenzo finishing third. MotoGP legendValentino Rossi finished in fourth place, a disappointing result, all things considered.
The victory for Pedrosa was the 25th of his career, but both he and Lorenzo face an uphill battle for the points championship. With his second place finish, Marquez built his points lead to 43 over Lorenzo and 54 over Pedrosa, with only 75 points up for grabs the rest of the season. In fact, with a strong finish next week in Australia, Marquez can assure his place as the season's champion.
The Australian MotoGP Grand Prix event begins with qualifying on October 18, 2013, with the race scheduled to go off on Sunday, October, 20. There will be plenty of tension in the air in Australia, with Marquez aiming to close out the season title, while Lorenzo andPedrosa do their best to stay in the chase. No matter the result next week, fans can only hope the race lives up to the exciting standard set by the MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix.