After an eventful race last week at the Tissot Australian MotoGP, riders, teams and fans are headed to Malaysia to compete in the second to last leg of their 18 races on the 2014 calendar!
The 2014 Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix™ race will be held at the Seprang International Circuit to try and finish the season strong!
Race to the Finish
The young Spaniard had wished to accomplish this at Phillip’s Island in the Australian Grand Prix, but lost out due to a crash on Lap 17. The two-time world champion has two more chances to reach a 13 win season and become a legend in his own right, starting with the race at Seprang.
Seprang's Track Record
Sadly, there is a tragic history that accompanies this leg of the circuit in the MotoGP™ world. In 2011, Italian rider, Marco Simoncelli, lost control of his bike after hitting gravel and crashed into another rider. Less than an hour later, Simoncelli passed away due to the trauma caused by the accident.
His close friend and renowned MotoGP™ racer, Valentino Rossi, won last week’s race at Phillips Island, and has hopes of finishing strong and winning at Seprang. This will be the fourth anniversary of Simoncelli’s death. In the past, Rossi hasworn a special helmet in tribute to his friend.
The history of the 2011 Seprang race might just be the motivation Rossi needs to beat out his teammate Jorge Lorenzo for second place in the Championship.
Partners of the Yamaha factory since 2012, Rossi has remained above Lorenzo in the championship standings thus far. However, Lorenzo has continued to become a stronger rider and has become more competitive this season. As Lorenzo pointed out after the Phillip’s Island race, he came to his win last week at Phillip’s Island by luck. Lorenzo trails Rossi by eight points heading into Sunday's race. Let’s see if the Spanish racer’s luck continues!
Rossi and Lorenzo are not the only ones still in the running, however. Despite a crash in the race last Sunday, the always good Dani Pedrosa sits a mere 17 points beneath Lorenzo's place. It is also important to keep in mind that Pedrosa took home the win at last year's race at Seprang.
Will an Extraordinary Circuit Bring Extraordinary Results?
Rossi has claimed that he loves the track, despite the fiercely hot, Malaysian weather that accompanies it. He called the difficult circuit fantastic, while speaking to The Gulf Today. The Seprang Circuit is very unique, possessing a notably long back straight followed by a challenging acute turn before heading onto the pit straight. Basically, the track's straight back is bookended by tiny hairpin turns.The layout of the three-and-a-half mile track in Seprang is unusual in comparison to most the other tracks in the 2014 MotoGP™ calendar.
The formidable circuit, some believe, adds to the difficulty level of the race that takes place about 25 minutes south of Malaysia's capital city Kuala Lumpur.
We shall wait and see if the Seprang brings about surprising racing results! The track can be particularly grueling due to the humid Malaysian weather, as Rossi and other racers have alluded to.The race, partially due to the uniqueness of the circuit and partially due the inclement weather, can be a benchmark breaking race.
This weekend's race will mark the 14th consecutive year Malaysia has hosted the MotoGP Grand Prix race.
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