Joan Mir moved to within one victory of Valentino Rossi’s lightweight class record for a single season after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. The newly-crowned champion proved too strong for early leader Jorge Martin as the Gresini rider’s wait for a maiden Grand Prix victory goes on.
In a magnificent victory littered with successes, the one thing missing for Mir had been a pole position, but the Leopard rider changed that on Saturday, topping qualifying for just the second time in his career. However, perennial polesitter Martin would make the faster start on Sunday, storming into a 1.7s lead on lap four as Mir became embroiled in a battle over second.
Once Mir found his rhythm though, the gap would soon close and by half distance, the world champion outbraked Martin into turn nine to regain the lead. Enea Bastianini had also jumped across the gap to the leading duo but as the Italian went into battle with Martin for second, including an incident at turn four which forced Enea off track, Mir had just enough breathing space to claim victory.
Martin ultimately held onto second in a photo finish with Bastianini while Livio Loi backed up his rostrum finish at Phillip Island with a fine fourth at Sepang. John McPhee climbed from eighth to fifth in a sensational final lap to edge out leading KTM rider Andrea Migno, as well as Romano Fenati and Aron Canet, the Italian clinching the championship runner-up spot in the process.
Fabio Di Giannantonio and Bo Bendsneyder rounded out the top ten with home favourite Adam Norrodin somehow salvaging eleventh despite crashing out of fifth early on.
Moto3 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix: Result
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