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Sepang MotoGP: Vinales takes crushing win from Marquez

Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales led every lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix to take a dominant win ahead of Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso.

Sepang MotoGP: Vinales takes crushing win from Marquez

The victory was as straightforward as they come for Vinales, the Yamaha rider taking the lead on the opening lap and never looking back.

His final margin was three seconds over Marquez, the world champion using a sublime opening few laps to recover from his lowly 11th grid spot.

Polesitter Fabio Quartararo, meanwhile, put in an unexpectedly subdued performance, slipping back to eighth at the start before finishing seventh. 

As expected it was a fast start from the Ducatis, Jack Miller leading into Turn 1 as Dovizioso slid into third behind Vinales.

Marquez was swiftly among the action too, immediately grabbing onto the back of the lead train in fourth.

As Vinales breezed by Miller on the opening lap, Marquez briefly moved into second with a move up the inside of the final corner, only to be re-passed by Miller down the front straight.

It wasn't until Lap 3 that Marquez was finally able to make a move on the Pramac rider stick, by which point Vinales was already 1.3s down the road.

That was as close as Marquez would get, too, Vinales dominating the race to cruise home to a three-second win.

The battle for third was livelier, Valentino Rossi glued to the back of Dovizioso for the second half of the race. The Yamaha rider did his best to find a way past, even getting next to his fellow Italian a couple of times. But ultimately he had to settle for fourth.

Alex Rins wasn't far behind in fifth, the Suzuki rider lucky to escape serious damage after clattering into Miller early in the race. 

Petronas Yamaha pair Franco Morbidelli and Quartararo failed to turn their rapid practice and qualifying pace into anything better than sixth and seventh, neither factoring in the top three at any stage of the race. 

Miller dropped back to eighth on a Ducati that continued to shed bodywork after the Rins contact, while Johann Zarco – putting in a brilliant Top 10 performance on the LCR Honda – was taken out of the race three laps from the end after being hit by Joan Mir.

The Suzuki rider received a long-lap penalty for his troubles, which dropped him to 10th behind Danilo Petrucci.

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Gap
1 12 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 20
2 93 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 20 3.059
3 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati 20 5.611
4 46 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 20 5.965
5 42 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 20 6.350
6 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 20 9.993
7 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 20 12.864
8 43 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 20 17.252
9 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci
Ducati 20 19.773
10 36 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 20 22.854
11 44 Spain Pol Espargaro
KTM 20 24.821
12 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 20 30.251
13 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 20 30.447
14 99 Spain Jorge Lorenzo
Honda 20 34.215
15 82 Finland Mika Kallio
KTM 20 34.461
16 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin
KTM 20 44.319
17 17 Czech Republic Karel Abraham
Ducati 20 47.343
5 France Johann Zarco
Honda 16 4 Laps
35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow
Honda 14 6 Laps
29 Italy Andrea Iannone
Aprilia 11 9 Laps
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About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Malaysian GP
Sub-event Race
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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