Full Malaysian MotoGP race results from Sepang

Marc Marquez has claimed his ninth victory of a title-winning 2018 MotoGP campaign in a dramatic Malaysian race which saw Valentino Rossi crash from the lead in the closing stages.

Rossi produced the perfect getaway to take the lead from Johann Zarco into the first turn before setting a blistering pace at the front. Marquez, who was handed a six-place grid drop for blocking Andrea Iannone in qualifying, made quick work fighting up the order to slot into second place behind Rossi on lap four.

Rossi and Marquez then traded fastest laps to pull away at the front, at the same venue of their infamous 2015 clash, with the Movistar Yamaha rider gapping up to 1.7 seconds clear at the halfway stage.

But the Repsol Honda rider gradually began to reel in the nine-time world champion at around one tenth per lap to put the pressure on Rossi.

At the start of lap 17 at Turn 1 Rossi asked for too much from his Yamaha and tucked the front to crash out in front of his own supporters’ stand.

That enabled Marquez to ease off his pace with a comfortable gap on Zarco and Rins, who were battling for second place, and take victory at Sepang.

Rins grabbed the runner-up spot from Zarco on the final lap to maintain Suzuki’s strong end to the season. With the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider having to settle for third place he still secured top spot from the injured Cal Crutchlow in the MotoGP Independents’ standings.

After another tough start to a race for Maverick Vinales, the factory Yamaha rider bolted up to fourth place with a typical late race surge but ultimately the Phillip Island race-winner couldn’t catch the podium trio.

Dani Pedrosa secured his best result since Aragon in fifth place on the Repsol Honda ahead of Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso who struggled to replicate his practice pace in the hotter conditions.

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Alvaro Bautista claimed a solid seventh place for Angel Nieto Ducati ahead of Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller, whose harder tyre pick failed to pay off, but he did finish ahead of team-mate Danilo Petrucci.

Home debutant Hafizh Syahrin produced his race of the year to take 10th place having started last after a disaster in qualifying – with emotional scenes for the Malaysian rider both before and after the race with his home crowd.

Aleix Espargaro grabbed 11th place for Aprilia ahead of Marc VDS Honda’s Franco Morbidelli with Crutchlow’s LCR Honda stand-in Stefan Bradl taking 13th place in front of team-mate Takaaki Nakagami.

Red Bull KTM’s Bradley Smith rounded out the points places with team-mate Pol Espargaro a late race retirement, while Suzuki’s Iannone crashed out on the opening lap after being unsettled by Marquez’s who almost came off directly ahead of him at  the final corner.

Thomas Luthi and Xavier Simeon also finished in front of Rossi, who remounted to take 18th place, with Scott Redding completing the finishers.

Jorge Lorenzo’s replacement rider Michele Pirro crashed out at the final corner on Lap 5 while Karel Abraham retired with a technical issue with his Angel Nieto Ducati.

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