Unstoppable Pedrosa takes victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix
Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa converted his record-breaking pace in qualifying into a race winning performance at today’s Malaysian Grand Prix, the Spaniard scoring his second victory from the last three races.
Starting on pole position, Pedrosa got the holeshot to lead into the first corner and led for the entirety of the race, his overall race time setting a new record for the Malaysian Grand Prix, beating the old mark by over seven seconds. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi finished in second and third place respectively, the result meaning that Lorenzo closes the gap to his teammate to just seven points with just one round left to decide the 2015 MotoGP World Champion.
Race day at the Malaysian Grand Prix experienced similar weather to the previous two days of the race weekend, with hot, humid conditions. The peak track temperature during the race was 50°C, a figure only slightly warmer than yesterday afternoon and as a result, tire choice was largely the same as seen in Free Practice 4. The medium compound front slick was used by every single rider for the race except for Octo Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez, who selected the hard compound front slick instead. Rear tire choice saw the majority of riders selecting the medium compound rear slick, with sixteen of the riders choosing this option, while the remaining nine entrants opted for the soft compound rear slick. tire performance over the twenty laps of the Malaysian Grand Prix was exceptional, with Lorenzo setting a new Sepang Circuit Record Lap time of 2'00.606, beating the old mark by over half a second, while three other riders also set personal best lap times quicker than the old record.
Rossi holds a seven point lead in the championship standings over Lorenzo heading into the season finale at Valencia in two weeks’ time. However, Race Direction has given Rossi a penalty following an incident with Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez, meaning he will start from the back of the grid in Valencia. Marquez holds onto third place in the championship standings on 222 points despite suffering his fifth DNF of the season today.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Dani showed his amazing talent in the way he dominated the race today, so congratulations to both him and Honda on a thoroughly deserved victory. This race will be talked about for years to come and is yet another exciting chapter in what has been one of the most closely followed MotoGP seasons in years. We had a record race-day crowd of 88,832 at Sepang today and we are all set for a spectacular season finale in front of a sold-out Valencia circuit in a fortnight’s time. It was also an incredible Grand Prix for Bridgestone as all three Sepang records, the Circuit Best Lap, Circuit Record Lap and overall race time records were beaten by huge margins. It has been a busy three week period for our staff, but we head to the last race of the season in high spirits as we look to end our MotoGP adventure in the best way possible.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department
“We had a dry race today with similar conditions to yesterday, so tire choice was largely as we expected with the medium compound front and rear slicks being by far the most popular choice. After the outright lap record for Sepang was broken yesterday, we could see that the riders were able to ride at a very quick pace during the race on our 2015 specification tires, with a new race lap record and overall race time being set. Overall it was a good weekend for Bridgestone and we now look forward to finishing the season on another positive note at Valencia.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner
“It was a really tough race physically, as the conditions were extremely hot and the track is very demanding. All weekend my pace was very good so I think my team did a good job and I’m happy that I could win the race and share it with them and all my supporters. We are progressing well and I’m very happy with the victory today and I’ll try to finish the season in the same way.”