Sepang MotoGP: Maverick Vinales takes crushing win for Yamaha

Maverick Vinales led every lap of MotoGP’s Malaysian Grand Prix to take a dominant win ahead of Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso.

The victory was as straightforward as they come for Vinales, the Yamaha rider taking the lead on the opening lap and never looking back.

His final margin was three seconds over Marquez, as the world champion used a sublime opening few laps to recover from his lowly 11th grid spot.

Polesitter Fabio Quartararo put in an unexpectedly subdued performance, slipping back to eighth at the start before finishing seventh.

As expected it was a fast start from the Ducatis, Jack Miller leading into Turn 1 as Dovizioso slid into third behind Vinales.

Marquez was swiftly among the action too, immediately grabbing onto the back of the lead train in fourth.

As Vinales breezed by Miller on the opening lap, Marquez briefly moved into second with a move up the inside of the final corner, only to be repassed by Miller down the front straight.

It wasn’t until lap three that Marquez was finally able to make a move on the Pramac rider stick, by which point Vinales was already 1.3s down the road.

That was as close as Marquez would get, too – Vinales dominating the race to cruise home to a three-second win.

That ended Marquez’s run of five straight race victories, and gave Yamaha only its second win of 2019 and its first since Vinales’ at Assen in late June.

The battle for third was livelier, with Valentino Rossi glued to the back of Dovizioso for the second half of the race.

The Yamaha rider did his best to find a way past, even getting next to his fellow Italian a couple of times. But ultimately he had to settle for fourth.

Alex Rins wasn’t far behind in fifth, the Suzuki rider lucky to escape serious damage after clattering into Miller early in the race.

The Petronas SRT pair Franco Morbidelli and Quartararo failed to turn their rapid practice and qualifying pace into anything better than sixth and seventh, neither factoring in the top three at any stage of the race.

Miller dropped back to eighth on a Ducati that continued to shed bodywork after the Rins contact, while Johann Zarco – putting in a brilliant top 10 performance on his second start on the LCR Honda – was taken out of the race three laps from the end when hit by Joan Mir.

The Suzuki rider received a long-lap penalty for his troubles, which dropped him to 10th behind Danilo Petrucci.

Race result

Pos Rider Team Bike Laps Gap
1 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 20 40m14.632s
2 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 20 3.059s
3 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 20 5.611s
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 20 5.965s
5 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 20 6.350s
6 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 20 9.993s
7 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 20 12.864s
8 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 20 17.252s
9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati Ducati 20 19.773s
10 Joan Mir Suzuki Suzuki 20 22.854s
11 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 20 24.821s
12 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati Ducati 20 30.251s
13 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 20 30.447s
14 Jorge Lorenzo Honda Honda 20 34.215s
15 Mika Kallio KTM KTM 20 34.461s
16 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 KTM KTM 20 44.319s
17 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati Ducati 20 47.343s
Johann Zarco LCR Honda Honda 16 Retirement
Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 14 Retirement
Andrea Iannone Aprilia Aprilia 11 Retirement
Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM KTM 0 Withdrawn

Riders’ standings

Pos Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 395
2 Andrea Dovizioso 256
3 Maverick Vinales 201
4 Alex Rins 194
5 Danilo Petrucci 176
6 Fabio Quartararo 172
7 Valentino Rossi 166
8 Jack Miller 149
9 Cal Crutchlow 133
10 Franco Morbidelli 115
11 Pol Espargaro 94
12 Joan Mir 83
13 Takaaki Nakagami 74
14 Aleix Espargaro 56
15 Francesco Bagnaia 54
16 Andrea Iannone 43
17 Miguel Oliveira 33
18 Johann Zarco 30
19 Jorge Lorenzo 25
20 Tito Rabat 18
21 Stefan Bradl 16
22 Michele Pirro 9
23 Hafizh Syahrin 8
24 Sylvain Guintoli 7
25 Karel Abraham 7
26 Mika Kallio 3
27 Bradley Smith 0

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