Francesco Bagnaia claimed his second career victory in a Malaysian Grand Prix littered with crashes which left more than half the field on the sidelines. Bagnaia was the sole survivor from a four rider leading group which appeared to crash in unison at turn seven before a later incident involving Maria Herrera brought an early end to the race.
The race followed a similar pattern to seven days ago in Australia with a succession of multiple rider pile-ups reducing the field. The first came at turn two with debutant Ayumu Sasaki caught up before a highside for Jorge Martin at turn six brought down three others including rookie pair Nicolo Bulega and Aron Canet.
The next incident was surely the most controversial with Adam Norrodin tumbling at turn seven and with fluids appearing to be spilled, three quarters of the leading group crashed simultaneously with Brad Binder, Joan Mir and Lorenzo Dalla Porta all losing the front end of their machines. With most expecting a red flag, the race inexplicably continued with Bagnaia rewarded for staying upright with a five second lead.
With five laps remaining, a farcical race was brought to a finish by another accident with Maria Herrera tripping over Livio Loi at turn fifteen. Rain was also starting to fall and race direction finally took the decision to throw the red flags, something they arguably should have done half an hour earlier.
Jakub Kornfeil and Bo Bendsneyder were enjoying a private battle over second but crucially, Bendsneyder’s overtake on the Czech rider came a lap too late once the result was counted back. As a result, Kornfeil was awarded second with the Dutch rookie matching his career best in third.
The two remaining Leopard KTMs of Fabio Quartararo and Andrea Locatelli took fourth and fifth with Marcos Ramirez producing another stellar performance in sixth. Gabriel Rodrigo was seventh ahead of home favourite Khairul Idham Pawi while Livio Loi and Darryn Binder completed the top ten in race with just seventeen finishers.
Moto3 Shell Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Race Result)
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