Miguel Oliveira led home the second consecutive KTM 1-2 in Malaysia while Franco Morbidelli was crowned 2017 Moto2 world champion. Oliveira led from start to finish in another supreme display with Brad Binder seeing off the newly crowned champion for a fine second place in tricky conditions at Sepang.
After a season-long battle between Morbidelli and Thomas Luthi, the title was decided in rather anti-climactic circumstances on Sunday morning. After crashing heavily late in qualifying, the Swiss rider was declared unfit due to a fractured ankle and with Morbidelli already 29 points clear heading into the weekend, the Marc VDS rider was crowned champion the moment Luthi’s withdrawal was made official.
The pressure may have been off Morbidelli, but the Italian was still keen to mark his success with a ninth victory of the season. Oliveira would have other ideas though, grabbing the holeshot at turn one and easing away into the distance, allowing himself a big enough margin to back off when light rain began to fall in the closing stages. Several big names were eliminated early though with Alex Marquez sliding out at the second corner while Takaaki Nakagami was wiped out by Sandro Cortese later around the opening lap.
Morbidelli was overhauled by Binder four laps from the finish with the South African forcing his way past in anticipation of an early stoppage to the race. Although the Grand Prix did run to full distance, Binder had done enough in any case to secure second with Morbidelli settling for third before commencing his own celebrations on the cooling-down lap.
Mattia Pasini won a race-long battle with compatriot Francesco Bagnaia for fourth while home favourite Hafizh Syahrin took a superb sixth, passing Fabio Quartararo and Xavi Vierge on the final lap. Isaac Vinales took ninth, his best result of the season, while Tetsuta Nagashima claimed the best result of his Grand Prix career with tenth spot.
The race took place without either Kiefer Racing rider after their team manager Stefan Kiefer tragically passed away on Thursday evening.
Moto2 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix – Result
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