SEPANG. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took back-to-back wins for the first time in Moto2™ with a stunning demolition job at Sepang International Circuit, over five seconds clear at one point and putting in a faultless ride to the flag despite the late threat of rain. Rookie teammate Brad Binder made it another 1-2 for the Austrian factory as he took his second Moto2™ podium in second, able to get past new Moto2™ World Champion Franco Morbidelli in the latter stages. The number 21 – who has led the standings all year – completed the rostrum.
Earlier in the day it was announced that key title rival Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) had been declared unfit to race, so Morbidelli’s 29 point advantage going into the Malaysian GP was enough to secure the crown. But celebrations waited until after the flag, when the customary number one was stuck to the front of Morbidelli’s EG 0,0 Marc VDS machine on the way back to parc ferme.
Behind the fastest three in front, Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) made a late charge to take advantage of the late rain flags and make it into fourth, three tenths ahead of Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) after the Rookie of the Year initially mounted a podium challenge then completed the top five. It was an even closer finish for sixth, with local hero Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) just catching and getting the better of front row starter Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) by 0.078 seconds.
Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) and Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team) were two more close finishers, just 0.068 apart in P8 and P9 respectively. Tetsuta Nagashima (Teluru SAG Team) completed the top ten after a solid ride for his best finish so far.
Simone Corsi and Augusto Fernandez (Speed Up), Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team), Iker Lecuona and Jesko Raffin (Garage Plus Interwetten) completed the points scorers – with a number of high profile DNFs in the race, including one for Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS).
Simone Corsi: 11th
“I was penalized by the involvement in the crash between the two riders at the first turn after the start. Restarting from the last position was really complicated. I immediately recovered positions, but the rain that came down in the last laps stopped my overcome. It’s a pity because I could get to the group in front of me. Now let’s think about the last race in Valencia!”
Augusto Fernandez: 12th
“I am very happy to have reached my first ever points in the Championship! It was a very positive weekend, we worked well and we improved every day. I thank the team for their work and for the trust they give me! In Valencia we will do more!”
Andrea Locatelli: 13th
“Tough weekend because of the hot and the humidity. I struggled to find a good pace, but I managed to finish close to the top ten and to get points. For me is a positive flyaway, in which I’ve grown up. Next step is finish the season in the best way”.
Dimas Ekky Pratama: DNF
“It’s been a great experience. I was charged up for the race and even had a good start. I found myself in the middle of the field, surprisingly, but unfortunately Gardner’s move took me out of contention. My goal before the weekend was to finish in the points and I knew it was a difficult task. I end up the weekend with a bittersweet taste in my mouth: from one side I’m happy with my world championship debut, team Gresini is absolutely fantastic and I would also like to thank Astra Honda and Honda Motors for this opportunity. On the other hand, well, to be taken out this way from the race is a great disappointment.”