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
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