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MotoGP™ Turns Up the Heat in Malaysia

Rory Harris

By Rory Harris

October 28, 2014

Beating the Heat


As it turns out, basketball is not the only sport where the Heat is a major opponent.Temperatures soared in Malaysia as MotoGP™ riders learned the hot and humid weather may be their biggest adversary.

In front of 80,000 cheering fans and an unforgiving sun, the pressure to take home the win and second place in the championship standings was on!

Rough Start

The Friday before the race, Yamaha rider, Pol Espargaro, was launched from his bike when he crushed during a practice run. As his bike caught fire, the rookie took a hard fall to the ground. Managing to escape the wreck with only a fractured foot, Espargaro was able to race on Sunday. Amazingly, he was able to still pull out a sixth place finish!

At the beginning of the 20-lap race, it appeared as if former Malaysian Grand Prix winner Dani Pedrosa might take home a win for the third time.It was not long, though, before he was passed by 2012 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. However, Pedrosa then crashed while rounding a corner on the Lap 2 and eventually had to retire from the race.

Marc Marquez and Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi, who won last week's race at Phillip's Island, were able to gain ground on Lorenzo. The three began to separate themselves from the rest of the pack and Rossi managed to overtake his teammate Lorenzo midrace.

Two laps later, Rossi took a turn too wide, and Marquez made one of his signature moves. With 10 laps to go, Marquez passed Rossi and was able to win the race with a three second lead. 

Bad Luck for Ducati

For the last few races, the Ducati team has stuggled. Unfortunately, they were still unable to pull it together for the Malaysia Grand Prix. Following his unfortunate accident at Phillip’s Island last week, Crutchlow was able to gain a good position at the start of the Malaysian race.

Following his unfortunate accident at Phillip's Island, Crutchlow was able to gain a good position at the start of the Malaysia Grand Prix. It was not very long, though, before he seemed to encounter technical issues on Lap 5. His bike came to a stop, marking this his third straight unfinished race this season. 

His teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, suffered a fuel pump problem causing him to drop back from the pack of racers right shortly before the finish line. Keeping a positive outlook, he was heard later stating how happy he was just to finish the race.

Legendary Company

With the win over Rossi, Marquez was finally able to match the 12-win record of Australia rider Mick Doohan. Marquez had not won a race since securing his world champion title in Japan, until this past weekend. 

At Valencia, the MotoGP’s youngest world champion will have a chance to beat the record.
A joyful Marquez talked about his victory in a post-race press conference, stating that he knew this was one of the more difficult races for the riders. Beaming from ear to ear, he confessed how relieved he was to have the pressure off now that he reached his goal of 12 wins.

Heading to Valencia, Marquez is now 62 points ahead of the veteran and 9- time champion Rossi, and the race is still on for second! 

Despite Pedrosa’s early retirement in the race, the Honda Repsol team finished the Malaysian Sepang race 50 points ahead of Yamaha.


Honda wins Constructor Championship 

Marquez’ win places the Honda team as the Constructor’s Champion for the 21st time for the motorcycle’s premier level road bikes.

For Honda, this means the team has now won 695 races. And with the talent of Pedrosa and one boy wonder Marquez, that number will most likely only continue to grow.

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