Andrea Dovizioso’s win in Malaysia means that the MotoGP title will be decided in the final round at Valencia. Dovizioso is 21 points behind championship leader Marc Marquez, after the Honda rider could only manage fourth at Sepang.
The Spaniard went in to this weekend knowing that the title was in his hands, but he started back on the third row. This did not stop Marquez from making a strong start, and he was already amongst the leaders at the first turn.
Johann Zarco started strongest, but as the race wore on, his soft rear tyre allowed both Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso though on turns nine and fourteen on lap nine.
The Ducatis quickly managed to gap the Frenchman, and soon the question of team orders came up. Would Jorge Lorenzo give up the chance of his first win on a Ducati to aid his teammate’s title chances?
With six laps to go, Lorenzo received a message through on his dashboard saying: “suggested mapping 8”. The next couple of laps saw Dovizioso close the gap on his teammate, but he was unable to get past.
On the final corner of lap 16, Lorenzo lost the front and ran wide, allowing Dovizioso past. From there, the Italian cruised home to take the win, with Lorenzo following him into second.
Johann Zarco completed the podium, nine seconds back, whilst Marquez came fourth, a further eight seconds behind.
Dani Pedrosa finished fifth, and Danilo Petrucci, who started at the back of the grid after breaking down on the sighting lap, came sixth.
After being sucked into the pack at the start of the race, Valentino Rossi recovered to finish ahead of Jack Miller and Maverick Vinales in seventh. Pol Espargaro rounded off the top ten.
It was another disappointing weekend for the British riders, the top of which was Bradley Smith in twelfth. He came in four seconds clear of Scott Redding, whilst Cal Crutchlow gained a single point in fifteenth. Sam Lowes crashed out with 16 laps to go, but got back on to his second bike. Unfortunately for Lowes, he crashed his second bike as well.
The Moto3 championship had already been decided, with Joan Mir being crowned at Phillip Island. Mir celebrated by securing his tenth win of the season, whilst John McPhee managed to climb back up to fifth after he was forced to run off to avoid a collision.
In Moto2, the title race was concluded in anti-climatic fashion. A crash in qualifying left Thomas Luthi with a broken ankle and unable to race. That handed the title to Franco Morbidelli. The Italian was unable to celebrate with a victory though, as Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder completed a KTM 1-2, as in Phillip Island.