Sepang MotoGP: Maverick Vinales takes crushing win for Yamaha

Andrew van Leeuwen
Vinales gets Yamaha back on top with crushing win
Vinales gets Yamaha back on top with crushing win

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.

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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.

Vinales gets Yamaha back on top with crushing win
Vinales gets Yamaha back on top with crushing win

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.

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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