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)
|1||88. Jorge Martin||Honda||Del Conca Gresini Moto3||38:34.799|
|2||48. Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Honda||Leopard Racing||+3.556|
|3||33. Enea Bastianini||Honda||Leopard Racing||+3.757|
|4||75. Albert Arenas||KTM||Angel Nieto Team Moto3||+3.795|
|5||12. Marco Bezzecchi||KTM||Redox PruestelGP||+4.095|
|6||21. Fabio Di Giannantonio||Honda||Del Conca Gresini Moto3||+4.106|
|7||40. Darryn Binder||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||+4.232|
|8||14. Tony Arbolino||Honda||Marinelli Snipers Team||+4.704|
|9||24. Tatsuki Suzuki||Honda||SIC58 Squadra Corse||+4.707|
|10||23. Niccolo Antonelli||Honda||SIC58 Squadra Corse||+4.715|
|11||42. Marcos Ramirez||KTM||Bester Capital Dubai||+4.727|
|12||27. Kaito Toba||Honda||Honda Team Asia||+5.101|
|13||77. Vicente Perez||KTM||Reale Avintia Academy 77||+6.392|
|14||41. Nakarin Atiratphuvapat||Honda||Honda Team Asia||+7.063|
|15||22. Kazuki Masaki||KTM||RBA BOE Skull Rider||+7.353|
|16||16. Andrea Migno||KTM||Angel Nieto Team Moto3||+7.478|
|17||76. Makar Yurchenko||Honda||Marinelli Snipers Team||+7.626|
|18||71. Ayumu Sasaki||Honda||Petronas Sprinta Racing||+13.843|
|19||65. Philipp Oettl||KTM||Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing||+19.992|
|20||84. Jakub Kornfeil||KTM||Redox PruestelGP||+26.678|
|21||81. Stefano Nepa||KTM||CIP - Green Power||+34.184|
|22||9. Apiwath Wongthananon||KTM||VR46 Master Camp Team||+34.468|
|23||7. Adam Norrodin||Honda||Petronas Sprinta Racing||+1:37.387|
|NC||44. Aron Canet||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||+7 Laps|
|NC||72. Alonso Lopez||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||+11 Laps|
|NC||17. John McPhee||KTM||CIP - Green Power||+11 Laps|
|NC||10. Dennis Foggia||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||+11 Laps|
|NC||31. Celestino Vietti||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||+15 Laps|