Excellent fifth for Miguel Oliveira in Sepang, Rins seventh
The Moto3 class crowned its first World Champion today, Sandro Cortese, who won the Malaysian GP in which Miguel Oliveira finished fifth on his first appearance. Also making their Sepang debuts, Álex Rins and Álex Márquez placed seventh and fourteenth, respectively.
Starting from the second and third rows, on the first lap Rins and Oliveira enjoyed a good start, fighting for a position in the front group, in sixth and eighth, respectively. In the lead, Jonas Folger tried to stretch out the peloton with a strong pace, which formed a first pack of riders including Rins and Oliveira. Further back, Álex Márquez was immersed in a large group of ten riders fighting for tenth place.
With rain threatening to fall from the midway point and spots coming down, the race was in the end able to last the duration. Cortese crossed the line first, followed by Khairuddin and Folger. Fighting with Salom and Kent, Oliveira split the dup to place fifth.
Rins, who was unable to maintain his pace from the early laps in the latter stages, took the chequered flag in seventh place —taking nine points which moved him up to fourth in the overall standings and first in the Rookie Of The Year stakes. Álex Márquez fought for eighteen laps in a group of ten riders, with the Repsol rider fourteenth and claiming two points. He gained ten places in the contest.
“That was a very difficult race. Following the pace of the KTMs was very tough, as on the opening laps they opened up a gap that we weren’t able to close later. Physically, it was one of the hardest races that I have contested. When it started to rain I felt comfortable and confident, so I was able to catch the front group. Despite the difficulty of the race, we are happy with the result and hope to continue our progression at Phillip Island.”
“That was a very demanding race. We started well, pushing hard and trying to join up with the lead group, although as the laps went by I was losing the rear on the gas. That’s why I made contact with Kent on the exit to the corner. He hit neutral and I couldn’t avoid him. It was just a scare in the end. I am happy with the race that we had, as physically it was extremely tough.”
“We started from very far back, so in the beginning it was up to us to fight back. We did it well, although when we joined up with the third group we got a little stuck; it was hard to overtake on the straights. We have to improve in qualifying, although in general I am satisfied with our weekend’s work.”
Source: Repsol Media