Zarco Wins in Malaysia to Retain Moto2 Title


Johann Zarco became the first rider in Moto2 history to successfully defend the world championship after a masterful ride to victory in Malaysia. The Frenchman rediscovered the form of a champion just when he needed it to see off Franco Morbidelli and Jonas Folger in wet conditions, securing him back-to-back world titles.

The whole complexion of the race was changed while the Moto3 podium ceremony was taking place as the heavens opened, leaving the Sepang circuit drenched for the intermediate class riders. Right from the start though, three riders were a class above the rest as Morbidelli, Zarco and Folger streaked away. Crucially for the championship, this left Thomas Luthi stranded in the second group while Alex Rins was making steady progress from the eighth row of the grid.

The track began to dry rapidly and with conditions starting to resemble qualifying yesterday, Zarco began to repeat his Saturday dominance. On lap fourteen, the Ajo rider breezed past Morbidelli for the lead before proceeding to check out at the front, eventually opening up a three second lead by the chequered flag to clinch the championship in style.

Morbidelli and Folger enjoyed an entertaining tussle for second with the Marc VDS rider prevailing thanks to an error from the German at turn seven. Lorenzo Baldassarri finished fourth at the front of the chase group while home favourite Hafizh Syahrin took a superb fifth.

Thomas Luthi trailed home in sixth, losing any hope of taking the championship to the wire, but with Alex Rins back in fourteenth, the Swiss rider has strengthened his chances of taking the runner-up spot. Alex Marquez followed Luthi home in seventh with Xavi Vierge next up while Luca Marini set the fastest lap on the way to ninth.

 

Moto2 Shell Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Race Result)

PosRiderConstructorTeamTime/GapPts
15. Johann ZarcoKalexAjo Motorsport45:51.03625
221. Franco MorbidelliKalexEG 0,0 Marc VDS+3.25620
394. Jonas FolgerKalexDynavolt Intact GP+3.68916
47. Lorenzo BaldassarriKalexForward Team+21.42813
555. Hafizh SyahrinKalexPetronas Raceline Malaysia+24.70011
612. Thomas LuthiKalexGarage Plus Interwetten+26.18410
773. Alex MarquezKalexEG 0,0 Marc VDS+28.1779
897. Xavi ViergeTech 3Tech 3 Racing+28.8558
910. Luca MariniKalexForward Team+29.2477
1032. Isaac VinalesTech 3Tech 3 Racing+29.9696
1124. Simone CorsiSpeed UpSpeed Up+30.8665
1293. Ramdan RosliKalexPetronas AHM Malaysia+31.2604
1387. Remy GardnerKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto2+31.7933
1440. Alex RinsKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 40+34.6972
1519. Xavier SimeonSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team+46.6691
162. Jesko RaffinKalexsports-millions-EMWE-SAG+49.126
1711. Sandro CorteseKalexDynavolt Intact GP+49.293
1852. Danny KentKalexLeopard Racing+51.610
1957. Edgar PonsKalexPaginas Amarillas HP 40+54.949
2023. Marcel SchrotterKalexAGR Team+55.461
2130. Takaaki NakagamiKalexIdemitsu Honda Team Asia+1:08.613
2227. Iker LecuonaKalexCarXpert Interwetten+1:16.574
2354. Mattia PasiniKalexItaltrans Racing Team+1:25.838
2414. Ratthapark WilairotKalexIdemitsu Honda Team Asia+2:01.635
NC20. Alessandro NoccoKalexLeopard Racing+7 Laps
NC70. Robin MulhauserKalexCarXpert Interwetten+14 Laps
NC49. Axel PonsKalexAGR Team+18 Laps
NC22. Sam LowesKalexFederal Oil Gresini Moto2+18 Laps
NQ60. Julian SimonSpeed UpQMMF Racing Team