Moto3 and Moto2 Sepang: Oliveira win halts Kent’s title dream, Zarco bursts Luthi’s bubble

For once not the naughty class hauled in front of race direction, Moto3 had one clear objective for it’s title protagonists, Miguel Oliveira had to win, Kent needed a top five finish to make it academic – Oliveira succeeded.
In Moto2 Tom Luthi looked set for a dominant win from pole before Zarco revealed his ace, conserved tyres and a pace which would see off Luthi over the closing laps.
Race Reports

The battle out front in Sepang in Moto3 was hectic and the lead changed constantly, but the man who needed it most and lead the longest, Miguel Oliveira, scrambled to the front and took the win to keep his feint title dream alive.
To take the crown Leopard’s Danny Kent only needed to find his way up to fifth after another grid penalty, but the Brit fell as low as 16th, gained from the many crashes ahead of him ( including his team-mates, who took each other out) and could only manage a best of seventh as he struggled on the straights.
Between the pair, Oliveira’s Red Bull KTM Ajo team-mate Brad Binder for a career best second and Estrella Galicia’s top rookie Jorge Navarro completed the podium.

Pole man Nico Antonelli pushed his Ongetta-Rivacold bike back into fourth after dropping behind Kent, Fenati had often lead on the final corner but not on the last lap leaving the Sky Racing VR46 rider fifth.
Jakub Kornfeil rode the Malaysian Drive M7SIC bike expertly after briefly dropping off the lead group for sixth, with Kent the last of the pack in seventh.
His old rival, Gresini’s Enea Bastianini was the lead in the next group for eighth with the SaxoPrint riders doing battle behind him. Qatar winner Alexis Masbou got the better of a sore John McPhee for ninth.
Outside of the top ten the remaining points went to Jules Danilo (Ongetta Rivacold) in 11th, Jorge Martin (Mapfre Team Mahindra) in 12th, Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia) in 13th, Isaac Vinales (RBA Racing) in 14th and Philipp Oettl (Schedl GP Racing) in 15th for the final point.
The Moto2 race started with a brief lead swap between leaders Tom Luthi and Johann Zarco before the Swiss man settled into a rhythm and looked secure for the win.
Sepang was not to go the Interwetten racers way though as Zarco never lost sight of his race rival, reducing the gap with three laps to go before pouncing on his Ajo Motorsport Kalex for a masterful win.
The podium was completed by AGR Team rider who struggled with the heat as he circulated solo – Alex Rins had been giving the German a run for his money before exiting into the gravel.
Off the podium Idemitsu’s Taka Nakagami rapidly improved for fourth after a big battle with Forward’s Lorenzo Baldassarri who was left with fifth place.
Pons man Luis Salom also gained some late places for sixth ahead of Sandro Cortese in seventh (Dynavolt Intact GP) and local rider Hafizh Syahrin, who made his way up nine places to eighth on lap one and maintained the place after a fightback.
The second Forward bike piloted by Simone Corsi was next to take the flag in ninth passing Xavier Simeon late on with the Gresini man completing the top ten.
The remaining points went to Axel Pons (AGR Team) in 11th, Mika Kallio (QMMF) in 12thSam Lowes, who struggles for grip on his Speed Up in 13th, JP MotoMalaysia Suter rider Ricky Cardus in 14th and Franco Morbidelli 15th for Italtrans.
For the full Moto3 Race Result click here
For the full Moto2 Race Result click here

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