Maverick Vinales has taken his second win of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship after dominating the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The 20 lap MotoGP race kicked off in perfect conditions, despite slight cloud cover building over the Sepang International Circuit.
Maverick Vinales got the perfect launch off the line, whilst fellow Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli, pole-sitter Fabio Quartararo and Valentino Rossi all went backwards.
All eyes, however, were on both Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez who after the opening lap had made it from the fourth row on the grid into the top five.
Valentino Rossi picked his way back through the group after falling to ninth in the opening couple of corners.
Maverick Vinales immediately started to open the gap over Jack Miller and Dovizioso whilst Marquez took longer than expected to clear the Bologna machines.
Petronas Yamaha‘s home race wasn’t going to plan with Morbidelli and Quartararo running in a lowly 8th and 9th position over the course of the opening half of the race.
At the front, Vinales was setting comfortable 1:59’s before eventually dropping into the low 2:00’s but continued to open the gap over Marquez.
Valentino Rossi had a few attempts of passing Jack Miller but eventually got ahead of the Australian.
Alex Rins looked keen to follow Rossi through at turn 15, running into the back of the Pramac Ducati, snapping a wing off his Suzuki Ecstar machine.
Valentino Rossi shadowed Andrea Dovizioso throughout most of the Malaysian Grand Prix, whilst Alex Rins started to close down the Italian duo.
At the front, Vinales had opened the gap to 2.8s, with Marquez eventually giving second best to the Monster Energy Yamaha.
LCR Honda‘s race ended in a disaster, with Cal Crutchlow crashing out at turn 15, and Johann Zarco being taken out by an over-ambitious Joan Mir at turn 14.
Further back, a recovering Fabio Quartararo made an attempt to clear teammate Morbidelli to move up into sixth position, but ran wide on the exit of turn nine, dropping back into seventh. Quartararo tried again into turn one but ran straight off the track.
Valentino Rossi tried everything to pass fellow Italian, but unfortunately for ‘The Doctor’ his podium drought extends to 15 races.
Maverick Vinales bounced back on form with a dominant win in Malaysia ahead of Marc Marquez, who now has the record of the most points scored in a year. Andrea Dovizioso rounds off the podium.
Valentino Rossi took his best finish since Misano, ahead of Alex Rins and Franco Morbidelli.
Fabio Quartararo could only manage seventh, finishing ahead of the two Ducati’s, Miller leading Factory rider Danilo Petrucci.
Joan Mir completed the top ten, despite having to serve a long lap penalty.
Pol Espargaro came home in 11th ahead of Francesco Bagnaia (12th) and Aleix Espagaro (13th).
Jorge Lorenzo took his points finish since his back to back 14th place finish at Silverstone and Misano.
Mika Kallio rounded out the points, ahead of Karel Abraham.
Maverick Vinales now moves 7 points clear of Alex Rins for third in the standings, whilst Petrucci has both Quartararo and Rossi on his case for 4th overall.
Maverick Vinales’ win is his second in 2019. Yamaha last stood on the top step in Malaysia back in 2010, when Valentino Rossi beat Andrea Dovizioso in the title-deciding race.
The MotoGP Championship will come to a close in two weeks time at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia