Malaysian Moto2: Aldeguer wins race as Acosta takes title

Fermin Aldeguer was again unstoppable out front for back to back wins from pole, but it was a double celebration on the podium as Pedro Acosta picked up the 2023 title with second in the Moto2 Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Moto2 Malaysian Grand Prix was again dominated by Aldeguer out front but Acosta only needed 18 of the 20 intermediate rounds to have a big enough advantage to be Moto2 champion.

Polesitter Aldeguer never looked tested once away from his early contact with Manuel Gonzalez as he eased to victory.

Early touch decides title battle

The only pressure the Beta Tools Speed Up rider faced was from a fierce start from Gonzalez. Converging lines and ideas on the opening lap saw the pair touch, with the incident investigated as Aldeguer maybe could have done more to avoid the contact. The riders behind had to work hard to avoid Gonzalez.

It was a great credit to Tony Arbolino, who was diectly in the way of the crash, that he did not make contact with either rider or bike as he sat up and avoided the incident. Many riders also steered clear, avoiding the bike now strewn in the middle of the track. The Italian went on to ensure nobody was taken out by his evasive action, with Canet and Ogura right behind him suffering slight contact from his sudden stop due to what was ahead. The Elf Marc VDS rider to drop out of the points and down to 20th.

That meant that Acosta, who had got a good start on the other side of the track and avoided trouble from sixth on the grid needed only to finish, so he rode a calm race in a safe second to cross the line a huge 7.128s behind Aldeguer.

Second saw Acosta into an unassailable 77 point lead to take the 2023 title, his second world championship crown after previously being Moto3 world champion.

There were celebtations aplenty before heading to the podium as, while struggling in the heat, a giant shark mascot - a nod to Acosta’s nickname - handed him a specially designed helmet in celebration.


The teenage Murcian duo were joined on the rostrum by another Spanaird.

After many improvements over the season, in his 69th  Moto2 start, American racing’s Marcos Ramirez had also avoided the early issues to be third from lap one after lining up fifth on the grid. Hunted down late on by Ai Ogura, the #24 was in equally as high spirits as he picked up a first podium finish in the class.

Ogura spent much of the race in fifth, battling with Jake Dixon, who was also caught up quite badly in Gonzalez’s early crash. A late push saw him take over Alonso Lopez, who then slid right out of contention to 22nd on the second Speed Up.

The Idemitsu bike pulled away from the Brit as he chased down the podium, just missing out in fourth. The Japanese rider made strong progess forward from 15th on the grid. Dixon also passed Lopez before he slid down the order to finish fifth for Inde GasGas Aspar.

There was a two second wait before Somkiat Chantra reached the chequerd flag in sixth on the second Idemitsu Honda Team Asia entry.

There was a further gap before Sam Lowes Lowes arrived in seventh, enjoying his own advantage over Joe Roberts in eighth for American racing, who was in turn clear of Albert Arenas on the second Red Bull bike in ninth, in a gapped field.

Title over in tenth for Arbolino

After his early evasive moves, Arbolino began his fightback, pressing on to race through the pack and finish as high as he could, despite knowing his title dreams had come to an end after the incident in front of him.

He immediatley picked up a slew of positions before spending several laps stuck in twelfth. Arbolino was an eventual tenth.

His last overtake was on Barry Baltus who picked up eleventh for Fieten Olie Racing, ahead of Jeremy Alcoba in twelfth for Gresini.

Alex Escrig picked up his first points in 13th for the Forward team as the top rookie finisher, with the remaining points on offer going to Filip Salac in 14th for Gresini and Dennis Foggia in 15th with Italtrans.

Helmi Azman was th best of the wildcard entries at home in 23rd for Petronas MIE Racing RW, his teammate for the race Azroy Anuar failed to finish.

Crashes, Injuries and Replacements

Anuar was not alone in suffering an early exit.

Aron Canet received a long lap penalty for crashing in qualifying while Celestino Vietti was already in the turn four gravel. His trip around the loop dropped the Spaniard from fifth to 14th. Pushing too hard while trying to stage a comeback saw him out at turn two.

Twice in the race a rider crashed while the yellow flags were out for a rider down in the same corner.

Celestino Vietti exited at turn nine on lap three, with his glove flying off as he landed in the gravel. Izan Guevara was soon down at the same turn in the background.

Soon after Sergio Garcia fell only to find Kohta Nozane follow him out of contention.


Lukas Tulovic also fell but rejoined to finish 24th, while Garcia was also classified in 25th.

Guevara went on to qualify and race after his practice fall. Darryn Binder was not able to do the same, missing the race.

Alberto Surra is the only regular rider declared out of action ahead of this round. He was replaced by Sean Dylan Kelly (19th) at Forward.

Where does that leave the championship?

There are still more points to pick up in Qatar and Valencia for a final winning total, but the 77 point gap from a second place finish ensured Acosta picked up his 2023 title in Malaysia, currently on a winning total of 320.5.

Dixon is still on track to finish the championship third as his sixth helped him keep the late run of wins put together by Aldeguer in check, with the Spaniard fourth.

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