Moto GP

Dani Pedrosa Races to a Clear Victory at Sepang

Marc Marquez Stretches His Championship Lead of Jorge Lorenzo

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Dani Pedrosa shrugged off lingering pain from his recent Aragon crash to score a convincing victory in Yesterday‰Ûªs Malaysian GP, run in gruelling tropical heat.

The former 250 and 125 World Champion was followed home by his Repsol Honda team mate Marc Marquez, who once again increased his World Championship lead over Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo who finished third today.

Pedrosa who also won here last year, finished the race 2.7 seconds ahead of Marquez to record his third victory of the season. The result gave the Repsol Honda team its fifth one-two finish of the season, following similarly impressive performances at Austin, Jerez, Indianapolis and Brno.

The result also increases Honda‰Ûªs lead in the constructors‰Ûª title race and Repsol Honda‰Ûªs lead in the team championship.

Starting from the second row of the grid, Pedrosa grabbed the lead from Lorenzo on lap five and was soon clear of the entertaining battle that raged behind him.

‰ÛÏI am very happy with this win, as it is very special." Pedrosa stated. "My level of riding today was very good and the victory comes after a difficult week in which I was laid up in bed and could hardly move.

"To come here and win is fantastic, so thanks to all my team! It is a pity about what happened in AragÌ_n, because we had the pace and the same chance of the win as we did here. However, we can‰Ûªt keep looking back; we need to continue on and try to carry our form into the final races.‰Û
Marc Marquez finished second after a thrilling fight with Jorge Lorenzo - Credit: Honda Racing
Lorenzo and pole-sitter Marquez continued swapping positions time and again before half distance. At one point the Yamaha rider made contact with the reigning Moto2 World Champion ‰ÛÒ who had set a new lap record on lap two ‰ÛÒ but their fight continued unabated until Marquez went inside his rival at Turn 14 on the ninth lap.

From that moment on, Marquez had only the brilliant Pedrosa ahead, but he had lost too much time fighting back and forth with Lorenzo and soon realised that chasing his team-mate would entail taking too many risks. He knew full well that all he really needed to do was increase his points advantage over the reigning champ, which he duly did.

‰ÛÏThese twenty points are very important and I'm really happy with how the race went today." Marquez enthused. "I had a nice, fun battle with Lorenzo, but at the same time I could see that Dani was opening up a gap.

"When I finally managed to overtake Jorge and make the pass stick, I tried to reduce the distance that Dani had put between us. However, I saw that it was too risky to do so. From that moment on, I decided to focus on keeping Lorenzo at bay, because the goal here was to finish the race ahead of him.

"We did what we came here to do, so we are very happy," he added.

With 15 rounds gone and three to go, the remarkable 20-year-old rookie leads Lorenzo by 43 points. If he does go on to win the title, he will be the youngest crowned king of the elite class in the 65 year history of the sport.
Jorge Lorenzo knows that he needs a little bit of luck to win the 2013 MotoGP Championship - Credit: Yamaha Racing
Jorge Lorenzo admitted that he and the team did not have the pace today to challenge for the race win and has all but conceded the 2013 championship.

‰ÛÏWe were much slower than the others today, especially after three or four laps." Lorenzo admitted. "I tried to open a gap at the beginning like always but there was +0 on the board after a couple of laps.

"When Dani passed I tried to stay with him and also then again when Marc passed me. I tried to pass him some more times to make him nervous but it was impossible, he was much stronger today so we couldn't do much more.

"To win the championship is almost impossible but I would like to finish second in the championship and win as many races as possible.‰Û
Alvaro Bautista fought off Cal Crutchlow to finish in 5th place in Sepang - Credit: Honda Racing
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) enjoyed a thrilling duel for fifth place with Monster Energy Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow ,which went his way in the final few laps.

In the early stages he had run with the lead group, but after running wide he lost touch and that allowed Crutchlow to catch and pass him. However, Bautista had the speed when it mattered most.

‰ÛÏI made a good start and that allowed me to get away with the front group for a few laps but then I had a moment when I couldn't get the front brake lever fully on and I ran wide." Bautista explained. "It took me a couple of laps to get confident with the brakes again and I lost touch.

Maybe in the battle with Valentino I overheated the brakes. It was a shame but I fought my way back to Crutchlow and then gritted my teeth to beat him in a fight to the end.

"Another important top-five finish for me, the team, who have done a great job again, and the sponsors.‰Û
Dani Pedrosa celebrates his win - Credit: Honda Racing
MotoGp Round 15 Race Results - Sepang
1. Dani Pedrosa 40m45.191s ESP HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2. Marc Marquez 2.757 ESP HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3. Jorge Lorenzo 6.669 ESP YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4. Valentino Rossi 10.351 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
5. Alvaro Bautista 22.149 ESP HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
6. Cal Crutchlow 22.301 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7. Bradley Smith 30.864 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
8. Andrea Dovizioso 45.111 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
9. Aleix Espargaro 59.264 ESP ART Power Electronics Aspar
10. Yonny Hernandez 1'01.417 COL ART Paul Bird Motorsport
11. Hiroshi Aoyama 1'03.665 JPN FTR Avintia Blusens
12. Randy De Puniet 1'14.256 FRA ART Power Electronics Aspar
13. Claudio Corti 1'21.603 ITA FTR NGM Forward Racing
14. Hector Barbera 1'27.976 ESP FTR Avintia Blusens
15. Colin Edwards 1'29.442 USA FTR NGM Forward Racing
16. Danilo Petrucci 1'29.551 ITA IODA Came IodaRacing Project
17. Luca Scassa 1'47.930 ITA ART Cardion AB Motoracing
18. Bryan Staring 1'52.927 AUS HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
19 Michael Laverty DNF WAL ART Paul Bird Motorsport
20. Lukas Pesek DNF CZE IODA Came IodaRacing Project
21. Nicky Hayden DNF USA DUCATI Ducati Team
22. Damian Cudlin DNF AUS ART Paul Bird Motorsport
23. Andrea Iannone DNF ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
Marc Marquez continues to power his way to the 2013 MotoGp Championship Trophy - Credit: Honda Racing
Championship Standings After Round 15 of 18
1. Marc Marquez 298 pts
2. Jorge Lorenzo 255 pts
3. Dani Pedrosa 244 pts
4. Valentino Rossi 198 pts
5. Cal Crutchlow 166 pts
6. Alvaro Bautista 136 pts
7. Stefan Bradl 135 pts
8. Andrea Dovizioso 120 pts
9. Nicky Hayden 102 pts
10. Bradley Smith 89 pts
11. Aleix Espargaro 83 pts
12. Michele Pirro 50 pts
13. Andrea Iannone 47 pts
14. Colin Edwards 32 pts
15. Hector Barbera 29 pts
16. Randy De Puniet 27 pts
17. Danilo Petrucci 23 pts
18. Yonny Hernandez 17 pts
19. Hiroshi Aoyama 13 pts
20. Claudio Corti 11 pts
25. Bryan Staring 2 pts

Top Image: Dani Pedrosa on his way to winning the 15th round of the 2013 MotoGp at Sepang

Credit: Honda Racing

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