Magnificent Martin Clinches Moto3 Title

by Louis Suddaby
Jorge Martin - Photo Credit:

Jorge Martin clinched the 2018 Moto3 world championship in fine style at Sepang by winning the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Spaniard produced another masterclass to breakaway from a fierce leading group to take victory while a difficult final lap saw Marco Bezzecchi drop from second to fifth, ruling him out of title contention with one race remaining.

The two season-long championship rivals threw everything at each other with Bezzecchi launching into an early lead while Martin took an understandably cautious approach with damp patches waiting to catch the riders out. By half distance, confidence appeared to have grown for the Gresini rider who sliced his way through from sixth to the lead with two late-braking manoeuvres in consecutive corners.

The pair even made slight contact at turn one as Marco battled to regain the lead but Jorge made the decisive break with four laps to go, setting the fastest lap of the race to lose the slipstream, forcing Bezzecchi into a desperate rear-guard action to keep his hopes alive. Ultimately, the Italian was engulfed on the final lap with the Leopard Hondas of Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Enea Bastianini swarming past him. Once Albert Arenas edged ahead to snatch fourth, Bezzecchi’s title hopes were finally extinguished.

Dalla Porta held off his Leopard team-mate Bastianini to take second with Arenas fourth while Bezzecchi slipstreamed past Fabio Di Giannantonio on the line to claim fifth. While the result boosts his chances of finishing runner-up in the championship, that will prove scant consolation to the Italian who was consoled by mentor Valentino Rossi after the Grand Prix.

Darryn Binder produced another aggressive display to finish seventh ahead of Tony Arbolino and Tatsuki Suzuki with Niccolo Antonelli completing the top ten. The home fans were royally entertained by Malaysian rider Adam Norrodin who surged through to seventh despite starting from the pit-lane. Unfortunately though, a crash three laps from home undid all that hard work.


Moto3 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix (Result)

188. Jorge MartinHondaDel Conca Gresini Moto338:34.799
248. Lorenzo Dalla PortaHondaLeopard Racing+3.556
333. Enea BastianiniHondaLeopard Racing+3.757
475. Albert ArenasKTMAngel Nieto Team Moto3+3.795
512. Marco BezzecchiKTMRedox PruestelGP+4.095
621. Fabio Di GiannantonioHondaDel Conca Gresini Moto3+4.106
740. Darryn BinderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo+4.232
814. Tony ArbolinoHondaMarinelli Snipers Team+4.704
924. Tatsuki SuzukiHondaSIC58 Squadra Corse+4.707
1023. Niccolo AntonelliHondaSIC58 Squadra Corse+4.715
1142. Marcos RamirezKTMBester Capital Dubai+4.727
1227. Kaito TobaHondaHonda Team Asia+5.101
1377. Vicente PerezKTMReale Avintia Academy 77+6.392
1441. Nakarin AtiratphuvapatHondaHonda Team Asia+7.063
1522. Kazuki MasakiKTMRBA BOE Skull Rider+7.353
1616. Andrea MignoKTMAngel Nieto Team Moto3+7.478
1776. Makar YurchenkoHondaMarinelli Snipers Team+7.626
1871. Ayumu SasakiHondaPetronas Sprinta Racing+13.843
1965. Philipp OettlKTMSudmetal Schedl GP Racing+19.992
2084. Jakub KornfeilKTMRedox PruestelGP+26.678
2181. Stefano NepaKTMCIP - Green Power+34.184
229. Apiwath WongthananonKTMVR46 Master Camp Team+34.468
237. Adam NorrodinHondaPetronas Sprinta Racing+1:37.387
NC44. Aron CanetHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0+7 Laps
NC72. Alonso LopezHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0+11 Laps
NC17. John McPheeKTMCIP - Green Power+11 Laps
NC10. Dennis FoggiaKTMSky Racing Team VR46+11 Laps
NC31. Celestino ViettiKTMSky Racing Team VR46+15 Laps

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