|Champion Rabat! Photo:Marc VDS|
The Malaysian MotoGP weekend’s hot and sticky conditions continued to make racing hard work as Moto3 saw Efren Vazquez take his second win of the year, nudging ahead at the final corner.
The SaxoPrint-RTG rider, without a ride for next year, used a good line and strong cornering at the final bend to nudge fellow frontrunner Alex Rins wide as he slipped past Jack Miller for victory.
Miller, who raced hard and swapped paint with his rivals, including championship leader Alex Marquez as the pair battled it out for the title on track, had muscled his way to the front of a warring front group with the lead three pulling away slightly on the final lap.
The Red Bull KTM Rider missed out on a much needed race win but did enough to take the championship battle to the final round, trailing by 11 points.
Rins climbed up the order after starting from 14th after a poor qualifying to return to the podium in third for the Estrella Galicia team.
Fourth went to a gutsy performance by Danny Kent, beating an angry Marquez across the line on his Husqvarna, unappreciative of being beaten to the flag the Spanish title leader was forced to settle, unhappily, for fifth.
Ongetta-Rivacold rider Alexis Masbou took sixth ahead of Nico Antonelli in seventh, Jakub Kornfeil in eighth and Red Bull Karel Hankia ninth. Enea Bastianini completed the top ten best finishers.
Also scoring a points finish were Juanfran Guevara in 11th for Aspar, Marc VDS rider Jorge Navrarro in 12th, top home rider Hafiq Azmi in 13thfor SIC-AJO, CIP’s Alessandro Tonucci in 14th and Remy Gardner who has continued to improve over the course of this years replacement and wild-card rides, taking the final point available in 15th.
The race was littered with retirements and crashes including the Sky Racing VR46 bikes of Romano Fenati and Francesco Bagnaia who both joined Niklas Ajo and Brad Binder in retiring with bike issues.
Among the more high profile crashers were Mahindra’s Miguel Oliveira, third in last years race and British rider John McPhee who had been on the pace and running at the front all weekend before falling on the final lap.
Maverick Vinales again impressed in Moto2, winning back to back races after taking victory in Sepang as the championship crown went to Tito Rabat, his team-mate Mika Kallio unable to stop the charge of Vinales or put enough places between his team-mate.
Vinales win, his third in the last four races for Paginas Amarillas HP 40 in his rookie and only season in Moto2, came as he pulled away from Kallio after passing the Finn for the lead, leaving Kallio in a secure second.
A Gallant effort by the Marc VDS man was not enough to stop Tito Rabat sitting unchallenged in a comfortable and safe third circulating with ease on his way to securing the Moto2 crown.
Air Asia Caterham rider Johann Zarco reeled in and passed Dominique Aegerter at the flag for fourth, pushing the Technomag carXpert rider into fifth as the Suter’s battled late on. Also with them was Julian Simon just behind for Italtrans in sixth.
Sandro Cortese was the best of the rest in seventh for Dynavolt Intact GP, Eighth went to Tom Luthi, ninth Jonas Folger for AGR Team with Tech 3 rider Marcel Schrotter completing the top ten.
The remaining points went to a recovering Luis Salom in 11th, the Pons man fighting back after avoiding Gino Rea, the first crasher after contact from Ricky Cardus who wnt on to take 12th.
Mattia Pasini started from the back of the grid after not setting a qualifying time and put in an excellent performance for 13th, Roby Rolfo returned as this weeks replacement rider for Tasca racing and scored points in 14thwith Jordi Torres 15th for Aspar.
Azlan Shah was the top home rider in 20th.