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Malaysian MotoGP: Pedrosa victorious, Marquez closes in on title

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa responds in style after Aragon controversy to earn his third victory of the season in Malaysia as Marc Marquez takes another step towards MotoGP crown
Dani Pedrosa claimed his third victory of the season as the Repsol Honda rider came out on top at the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang.

It was the perfect response from the Spanish star after Pedrosa's title hopes evaporated following a controversial incident at Aragon, where he was spat off his Honda after contact by team-mate Marc Marquez disabled the traction control system of his RC213V.

Rookie title favourite Marquez had to settle for the runner-up spot on this occasion, but extended his championship lead over Factory Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, who completed the top three.

Early race leader Lorenzo and Marquez were involved in a fiery confrontation in the first third of the race as the pair swapped places in a duel for second place, with defending champion Lorenzo colliding with his Honda rival on lap six.

Marquez is now 43 points clear at the top and could lift the world crown at Phillip Island in Australia next weekend, while Pedrosa has closed the gap to Lorenzo in second place in the series standings to 11 points following his 25th MotoGP career win at Sepang.

Valentino Rossi was unable to fulfil his qualifying promise after starting from second place on the front row, eventually finishing a comfortable fourth ahead of Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista, who had the upper hand in his battle with Britain's Cal Crutchlow on the Yamaha Tech 3.

Bradley Smith rode an excellent race as the championship newcomer completed the top seven on the second Tech 3 M1.

Pole man Marquez made a slow getaway as Lorenzo – who started from fourth place on row two – and Pedrosa swapped places through the opening corners, with the Yamaha star attempting to make his customary early break.

Rossi made a brief pass on Marquez on the opening lap but ran wide, allowing the Repsol Honda star to reclaim the position as Bautista, Smith and Crutchlow completed the top six on lap one.

Michael Laverty, Colin Edwards and Hector Barbera received a time penalty for jumping the start and the trio were forced to complete a ride-through punishment.

Lorenzo was unable to shake off Pedrosa at the front, with Marquez, Rossi and Bautista running a hot pace in behind.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Pedrosa, Malaysian MotoGP 2013
Pedrosa, Malaysian MotoGP 2013
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Reddng, Petrucci, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Barbera, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Bautista, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Dovizioso, Espargaro Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Bradl, Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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