Featured MotoGP: Vinales is Top Gun in Sepang

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Simon, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Simon

    Simon Professional storyteller
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    Mar 25, 2015
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    Yamaha's Maverick Viñales put in a formidable performance at the Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix to destroy the opposition, picking up his second win of the 2019 season in emphatic style.

    It was Pramac Ducati's Jack Miller who took the holeshot from the second row, with the Aussie bravely heading round the outside to take the lead from front row starter Franco Morbidelli on the Petronas Yamaha.

    Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, meanwhile, had made lightning starts to move through from P11 and P10 respectively, but it was Vinales who was making waves at the front, snatching the lead from Miller at Turn 11 as Marquez passed Morbidelli for P4.

    A frantic first lap wasn’t over yet though, as Dovizioso battled Miller for P2 at Turn 14 and Turn 15, with both heading wide and thus allowing Marquez to pounce. He sat Miller up, but the Australian shot back past heading into Turn 1.

    Marquez then dug deep to finally dispatch Miller, but reeling Viñales in looked like a serious mountain to climb, with the gap well over a second. The Spaniard gradually built a solid lead of 1.5s, riding on his own to create a commanding lead, eventually crossing the line with a 3.059s advantage over second-place Marc Marquez.

    Vinales said: "Honestly I have to say this is one of the times in life I've been the happiest. After the Australia crash I felt I won the race, because I attacked in my head...but then actually crashed. It was a bit of a disaster but we arrived here with everything clear, the bike was on a great level all weekend from FP1 since the first laps so we pushed, pushed and pushed and made a gap, which was important. I then tried to control the race which wasn't easy; especially mentally it was very tough, but I have to congratulate the team because all weekend they did an awesome job."

    With Marquez grabbing a comfortable second, all eyes were on the fight for third; Dovizioso grabbed it from Miller on Lap 4 and Valentino Rossi was also in contention, with 'The Doctor' finally dispatching Miller shortly after.

    And then things got even more heated between Miller and Suzuki's Alex Rins at the final corner as Rins went for the inside and the two made contact. Rins lost some bodywork in the coming together, and even through both riders stayed upright, they were forced to watch the fight for third as Dovizioso and Rossi started to peel off into the distance.

    The fight for third, try as he might, would not go the way of Rossi. Rins had closed in to make matters even closer, and every advance 'The Doctor' made on the Ducati was repelled as the Suzuki also started to threaten. Dovizioso, as ever, was the very last of the late brakers and the nine-time World Champion just couldn't make a move stick, with the Ducati rider taking the final place on the podium.

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