Sepang success makes it twelve MotoGP wins for Marquez in 2014
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez equalled Mick Doohan’s premier-class record of twelve wins in one season after the newly-crowned MotoGP champion won a grueling battle in sweltering conditions at Sepang International Circuit.
After smashing the outright lap record yesterday during qualifying, Marquez set a new Sepang Circuit Record Lap time of 2’01.150 on lap two as he battled with the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo at the front of the field. Lorenzo led for the opening nine laps of the race before being passed in quick succession by first Rossi and then Marquez, but the 2014 World Champion seized the race lead just a couple of laps later. Marquez ultimately won the race 2.445 seconds ahead of Rossi, while Lorenzo crossed the finish line in third place a further second behind.
Conditions at Sepang were once again extremely hot today, with a peak track temperature of 55°C during the race making today’s contest the warmest Malaysian Grand Prix in the past few years. Front tire choice for the race saw fourteen of the twenty-two starters select the medium compound front slick, with the remaining eight riders opting for the hard compound front slick. For the rear tire, thirteen riders – including all Factory Ducati, Honda and Yamaha riders selected the medium compound rear slick and nine riders selected the soft compound rear which was only available to the Ducati and Open-class riders at Sepang.
With just one round remaining, Marquez’s twelfth win of the season sees his points total swell to 337 points, while Rossi’s second place at Sepang sees his lead in the championship standings over teammate Lorenzo grow to twelve points.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Congratulations to Marc and Honda on their return to the top step of the podium, for Marc to equal the record for most wins in a season with another legend of the sport in Mick Doohan is testament to what a fantastic season he has had. I have to commend all the riders today as it was very hot, even for Sepang, and racing in such conditions must’ve been extremely tough on them. We saw a record crowd at Sepang today and it is encouraging to see that more and more fans are embracing MotoGP in this part of the world, and I hope that we see another big crowd at Valencia for the final race of the season in two weeks’ time.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
“This year’s Malaysian Grand Prix was extremely demanding on the riders, their bikes and our tires, so it was pleasing to see such quick lap times and consistent performance over race distance. As the riders got to perform long runs in similar conditions yesterday afternoon, tire choice for today’s race was very close to what was used during FP4. Despite the tough conditions, new qualifying and race lap records were set this weekend which reflects well on the tire specifications we provided at Sepang this year.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
““This was one of the toughest races of the year for me physically and I'm happy to have equalled Mick Doohan’s record. It was especially hot today and we all found it hard to finish the race, but I'm happy with how I handled the race, because I made a small mistake at the first corner but I was able to come back to the front and stay there. I started to attack with 10 laps remaining and I could finish strong. I will now try for one more victory at Valencia.”
Malaysian MotoGP Top 10 Race Classification
1- Marc MARQUEZ
2- Valentino ROSSI
3- Jorge LORENZO
4- Stefan BRADL
5- Bradley SMITH
6- Pol ESPARGARO
7- Yonny HERNANDEZ
8- Andrea DOVIZIOSO
9- Hector BARBERA
10- Scott REDDING