Dani Pedrosa took an unchallenged victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix but his performance was completely overshadowed by an extraordinary incident between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. Pedrosa won by 3.6 seconds from Jorge Lorenzo but the collision behind them that took Marquez out of the race will dominate the headlines.
Pedrosa made a quick escape in the early stages with Marquez holding second ahead of Rossi but the drama began at the start of lap two when Lorenzo passed Rossi for third. An error from the current champion promoted Lorenzo to second and in his attempts to keep his title rival in sight, the Italian became embroiled in a fierce scrap with Marc that quickly turned bitter.
Rossi made his move on lap four, diving past Marquez on lap four but the Spaniard quickly fought back, piling the pressure on the championship leader. For the next three laps, the pair continued to swap positions with both protagonists close to crashing out but on lap seven, it finally came to a head at turn fourteen as Rossi eased alongside the Honda.
As the pair both ran wide, Rossi looked in the direction of Marquez and the motorcycles tangled, sending the Spaniard to the floor. Race direction immediately launched an investigation into the incident, with the flick of Rossi’s left leg likely to land him in hot water, but as things stand, Rossi sits in third place with sixteen points, giving him a seven point lead to take to the season finale in Valencia.
With both Ducatis hitting trouble, Andrea Iannone through mechanical problems and Andrea Dovizioso a crash, the path was clear for Bradley Smith to take fourth ahead of Cal Crutchlow with Danilo Petrucci sixth on the Pramac Ducati.
The Suzukis of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales finished line astern in seventh and eighth ahead of Pol Espargaro who carried an injury from a warm-up crash with Hector Barbera into the race.