Jorge Lorenzo was lucky to escape with most of his MotoGP title lead intact after almost falling just one corner before the Malaysian Grand Prix was red flagged.

The Yamaha star led for the first nine laps at a soaking Sepang, but with title rival Dani Pedrosa in his wheeltracks throughout.

The Repsol Honda rider then overtook Lorenzo on the brakes at the final turn of lap 10, just as the rain intensified.

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Lorenzo, who unlike Pedrosa and third place Casey Stoner had chosen the softer wet rear tyre, was starting to struggle for grip in the worsening conditions.

Numerous riders fell - including the three other Yamahas, also on the soft rear tyre - and Lorenzo began gesturing that the conditions were becoming too dangerous.

The Spaniard was starting to come under pressure from Stoner when he suffered a big moment under braking at the final turn of lap 14, which put the Australian almost alongside by the exit (pictured).

Red flags then appeared as they crossed the start/finish line and the results were taken from the end of the previous lap (13 of 20).

However if Lorenzo had crashed and been unable to return his bike to the pits in time, he would not have been classified or part of any restart.

"Today was a very difficult race for us, because we chose the soft rear tyre and Casey and Dani chose the hard," confirmed Lorenzo.

"The conditions were not so wet [at the start], so I pushed at the beginning to try and get a big advantage to administrate.

"But I just [wore] down the tyre, so when it started to rain a lot I didn't have any [tread] in the middle, so I was struggling even more than them.

"And then in the last lap I almost crashed. I have been very, very lucky because one '0' here would mean the championship was much more difficult.

"But now second place is a very good result for the championship."

Of the red flag decision, Lorenzo added: "If we were riding at 20km per hour it is easy to stay on the bike, but it is very difficult to find the limit in these conditions.

"They made the right decision to stop the race."

Lorenzo - officially classified as 3.7s behind Pedrosa and 3.4s ahead of Stoner - thus surrendered just five points to Pedrosa, for the third race in a row. Lorenzo's advantage now stands at 23 points, less than one race win, heading into the penultimate round at Phillip Island next weekend.