Johann Zarco excelled in tricky conditions as the rain returned to a sticky Sepang ahead of the Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix, timing his lunge for the lead to perfection and pulling away for a historic win - one that guarantees the Frenchman is the first person to retain the title.

The Ajo Motorsport rider took his sixth win from pole after stalking in the lead pack. Zarco had already shown strong pace with old wet tyres on a drying track in qualifying and once out front he was in a class of his own, and able to pull away with ease.

An emotional Zarco celebrated his win with a now customary backflip, and was joined by someone dressed as another Zarco for a double flip in celebration of his two Moto2 titles. He is also the first French rider to take two world titles.

His title rivals did not feature with Tom Luthi back in sixth for Interwetten and unable to make an impact, while Paginas Amarillas HP 40 rider Alex Rins was even further back in 14th, seemingly limited by his recent run of injuries.

Back on track it was Franco Morbidelli and Jonas Folger who took the race to a patient, waiting Zarco on track, but once the number five pulled clear the pair set about racing each other.

Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli finished their duel ahead, continuing a great run of form in the second half of the season for his fourth podium in a row with another second place.

A late run wide at turn seven saw Jonas Folger lose second, the Dynavolt Intact GP rider still chased Morbidelli all the way to the line after his wobble and secured the final podium spot in third.

Lorenzo Baldassarri worked his way to the front of the chasing group, but it was far too late to catch the leaders, who had long ago pulled the pin on the rest of the field, leaving the Forward Racing rider fourth, but over twenty seconds back from winner Zarco.

He gapped top home rider Hafizh Syahrin, who lived up to his 'fish' nickname again in the wet for Petronas Raceline Malaysia, holding off Luthi and Alex Marquez who raced hard to take seventh on the second Marc VDS bike.

Xavi Vierge recorded another career best finish in eighth, fresh from his first top ten finish last time out for Tech 3, and was top rookie.

Fellow rookies Luca Marini and Isaac Vinales were locked in battle just behind, with the Forward racing charge stealing ninth, leaving Vinales and the second Tech 3 machine tenth.

Simone Corsi took the chequered flag in eleventh for Speed Up, wile wild-card Ramdan Rosli impressed picking up points on the Petronas in twelfth.

Remy Gardner had his best finish in 13th for Tasca Racing ahead of Rins, Xavier Simeon was able to claim the final point for QMMF despite a late tumble as the gap to 16th was big enough to allow him to remount without being overtaken.
Mattia Pasini and Sam Lowes lasted just one lap before succumbing to the difficult conditions, Axel Pons left the lead group in spectacular fashion shortly after.

Ratthapark Wilairot was next off at turn two with fifteen laps remaining, he rejoined after a push from the marshals. Robin Mulhauser retired to the pits one lap later. Alessandro Nocco also crashed out of the race.



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