Can Fabio Quartararo become the first-ever satellite Yamaha rider to win a MotoGP race?

The rookie starts on pole at the Sepang team's home race, while Marc Marquez had his worst qualifying since 2015 after falling while trying to follow the Frenchman.

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The last leg of MotoGP’s epic triple-header takes place with the Malaysian GP in familiar surroundings at Sepang which hosts a special home debut, potential record breakers and the proper start to 2020 preparations.

Marc Marquez is single-handedly leading the Repsol Honda charge to secure the 2019 MotoGP Triple Crown as he targets the teams’ title to go alongside the riders’ and constructors’ world championships, while Jorge Lorenzo’s struggles continuing on the other side of the garage.

The 26-year-old dismissed the idea of revelling in the records he’s been setting in recent seasons but Marquez has the rare opportunity to beat the all-time MotoGP points tally for a single season.

Lorenzo holds the current record on 383 points, set over 18 races in 2010 during his time at Yamaha, with Marquez currently on 375 points from 17 races with two rounds to go.

For Marquez to miss out on the record would require some uncharacteristic mistakes and serious bad luck given he’s averaging over 22 points per race this year even including his DNF at the Americas MotoGP back in April.

Given any rider must produce unwavering quality and almost constant front-running performances to break this particular record, it will be a true measure of Marquez’s total domination in 2019 if he is able to increase his points haul by eight over the next two races.

Off the back of five consecutive wins, Marquez has to be the favourite going into Sepang equipped with the powerful RC213V on the track’s two long straights while he can wrestle the bike between the high speed corners where the likes of Yamaha and Suzuki have appeared stronger this year.

Sepang has also been a happy hunting ground for Honda this decade with five wins from the past seven years – two for Marquez and three for Dani Pedrosa – with only a Ducati double by Andrea Dovizioso halting the Tokyo manufacturer’s momentum in 2016 and 2017.

Ducati will also fancy Sepang as its last clear opportunity for victory this year but hot and grippy conditions haven’t been the GP19’s ideal settings this season.

One situation MotoGP has avoided this season is an out-and-out wet race and with Sepang famous for its monsoon-style rain, plus the typical mixed weather forecast, there’s a strong possibility of a wet race. The last wet Malaysian GP saw Dovizioso dominate for Ducati in 2017 so he’ll be hoping to a repeat two years on.

After seeing Maverick Vinales give an all-or-nothing attack for victory against Marquez at Phillip Island, Yamaha should remain quietly confident of its own chances at Sepang having seen Valentino Rossi lead for the majority of last year’s race before crashing with four laps to go.

The 40-year-old would love to recapture some of that form, having briefly led in Australia albeit prematurely, as he hunts for some much-needed motivation and momentum going into a long and pivotal winter.

 

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