Oliveira Victory Takes Title Race to the Wire


Miguel Oliveira displayed his astonishing calmness under pressure once again to win the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, ensuring the Moto3 title race will go down to the wire. The Portuguese rider led home teammate Brad Binder while a cautious Danny Kent finished seventh, leaving him two points away short of his championship target.

Requiring a top five finish to seal the title with a race to spare, Kent displayed caution in the opening laps and even fell out of the points at one stage. As the pace picked up, the Briton quietly moved up the order although the Leopard team were given a fright on lap six when Efren Vazquez and Hiroki Ono, Kent’s teammates, collided at turn two.

Further incidents involving Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Francesco Bagnaia promoted Kent to seventh and with a couple of laps remaining, the British rider was in the thick of the leading group. A dive up the inside of Niccolo Antonelli moved him up to fifth but the turn nine hairpin would cost him on the last lap, Kent caught between the polesitter and Romano Fenati, and the moment of hesitation dropped him to seventh where he would ultimately finish.

With Kent scoring nine points, only a victory would keep Oliveira’s championship hopes alive but once again, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider judged his tactics perfectly to outdrag teammate Brad Binder on the approach to the final corner and hold on to the finish line. Jorge Navarro took another podium finish in third with Antonelli and Fenati taking fourth and fifth respectively.

Jakub Kornfeil completed the top six for the Sepang-based Drive M7 squad, keeping Kent back in seventh, while Enea Bastianini had to settle for eighth after being held up in the Leopard tangle early on. The top ten was rounded out by the two Saxoprint-RTG Hondas with Alexis Masbou ninth and a pain-stricken John McPhee in tenth.

 

MOTO3 SHELL MALAYSIA MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX – RACE RESULT

PosRiderConstructorTeamTime/Gap
144. Miguel OliveiraKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo40:33.277
241. Brad BinderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo+0.089
39. Jorge NavarroHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0+0.273
423. Niccolo AntonelliHondaOngetta-Rivacold+0.305
55. Romano FenatiKTMSky Racing Team VR46+0.416
684. Jakub KornfeilKTMDrive M7 SIC Racing Team+0.530
752. Danny KentHondaLeopard Racing+0.590
833. Enea BastianiniHondaJunior Team Gresini Moto3+4.004
910. Alexis MasbouHondaSaxoprint-RTG+6.990
1017. John McPheeHondaSaxoprint-RTG+10.030
1195. Jules DaniloHondaOngetta-Rivacold+16.128
1288. Jorge MartinMahindraMapfre Mahindra Team+18.995
1329. Stefano ManziMahindraSan Carlo Team Italia+18.999
1432. Isaac VinalesKTMRBA Racing Team+19.129
1565. Philipp OettlKTMSchedl GP Racing+19.153
1648. Lorenzo Dalla PortaHusqvarnaHusqvarna Factory Laglisse+19.592
1721. Francesco BagnaiaMahindraMapfre Mahindra Team+32.053
186. Maria HerreraHusqvarnaHusqvarna Factory Laglisse+32.882
1911. Livio LoiHondaRW Racing GP+32.924
2058. Juanfran GuevaraMahindraMapfre Mahindra Team+33.307
2124. Tatsuki SuzukiMahindraCIP+34.453
222. Remy GardnerMahindraCIP+55.705
2322. Ana CarrascoKTMRBA Racing Team+57.562
2416. Andrea MignoKTMSky Racing Team VR46+1:46.290
2591. Gabriel RodrigoKTMRBA Racing Team+1 Lap
NC98. Karel HanikaKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo+12 Laps
NC96. Manuel PaglianiMahindraSan Carlo Team Italia+12 Laps
NC7. Efren VazquezHondaLeopard Racing+13 Laps
NC76. Hiroki OnoHondaLeopard Racing+13 Laps
NC63. Zulfahmi KhairuddinKTMDrive M7 SIC Racing Team+13 Laps
NC40. Darryn BinderMahindraOutox Reset Drink Team+16 Laps
NS19. Alessandro TonucciMahindraOutox Reset Drink TeamInjured
NS55. Andrea LocatelliHondaJunior Team Gresini Moto3Injured