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Comprehensive Sepang MotoGP/2/3 recaps, results, points

MotoGP 2023

Round 18 – Malaysian Grand Prix

It was almost three abreast into Turn 1 once the lights went out, with the front row side-by-side.

Malaysian MotoGP 2023

Bastianini played it safe, Bagnaia was on the outside, and it was Martin who let the brakes off – diving up the inside to very briefly take the holeshot.

Malaysian MotoGP 2023

But he was deep and Bagnaia took the chance to try and cut back in, but Bagnaia wasn’t in the postcode of the apex either. He got back past Martin but Bastianini was already through, as was Alex Marquez.

Malaysian MotoGP 2023

Pecco held on to third against Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) but Martin wasn’t so lucky, getting shuffled back behind the Italian and left with a little more work to do from fifth.

And so Bastianini led Alex Marquez, with a small but increasing gap back to some stunning early race fireworks. Once Martin was able to get back past Bezzecchi, he was right on the tail of Bagnaia and the teams, factory and grandstands held their breath as the show began.

Malaysian MotoGP 2023

The number 89 was all over the number 1 but he attacked and was denied, attacked and was denied as the two scythed round Sepang near side-by-side. It was stunning, and it could prove important in terms of more than just points. On Sundays when they’ve both seen the flag, the reigning Champion has only finished ahead of Martin once since the Red Bull Ring – on the day of Johann Zarco’s history-making win in Australia. Bagnaia hasn’t beaten Martin in a Sprint since Catalunya. But at Sepang, the reigning Champion also turned the tables in qualifying, nabbing pole from Martin and outqualifying the number 89 for the first time since Barcelona.

Malaysian MotoGP 2023

From that huge shot of adrenaline though, it became an ebb of tension as the laps ticked down. Bastianini led Alex Marquez, both in some clear air. Bagnaia was in a “safe” third, and Martin a “safe fourth” as the battle behind was the next.

Malaysian MotoGP 2023

By five laps to go, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) had arrived at Bezzecchi, and this time the Yamaha rider struck quickly, slicing through almost immediately. The he was left trying to hold off the mighty power of the Ducati out the final corner and down the main straight into Turn 1, but it was mission accomplished – Quartararo was up into the top five as Bezzecchi officially dropped out on title contention.

Malaysian MotoGP 2023

At the front, Bastianini pounded on. With just over a second in hand, sometimes up to 1.5, the Beast was keeping very calm as he carried on – and very, very fast. He crossed the line for his first win since Aragon last year with a second and a half in hand, becoming the seventh different winner this season. Alex Marquez returned to the Grand Prix podium in second, Bagnaia took that vital third, and Martin was forced to settle for fourth to end the Petronas Grand Prix of Malaysia 14 points adrift. Still, there are 74 left in play.

Pecco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini

Quartararo took fifth from Bezzecchi, with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Franco Morbidelli putting on a charge into seventh and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) P8. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP) was hot on the heels on the Australian, and they had Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) for company too as he completed the top ten.

Malaysian MotoGP 2023

Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing), Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) and his team-mate Pol Espargaro completed the points – with one notable name missing out on some being Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) as he crashed out of the battle with Miller and Diggia.

Every point is pivotal, and now it’s just 14 of them between Bagnaia and Martin, with 74 still to play for. One of them will be crowned the 2023 FIM MotoGP World Champion… and the first match point comes in Qatar for Bagnaia.

Bagnaia has now also used his tyre pressure get out of jail free card as the Italian was found to be under pressure after the race at Sepang, thus there will be no more warnings for the defending champion, or title challenger Martin who copped a warning at the previous round, if they are found under pressure again they will cop a three-second time penalty following the race… Meaning the World Championship could end up being decided by tyre pressures…  Race winner Enea Bastianini along with Luca Marini, Alvaro Bautista and Iker Lecuona also copped official warnings for low tyre pressures at Sepang.

Malaysian MotoGP 2023 Podium

MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Enea BASTIANINI DUCATI 39m59.137
2 Alex MARQUEZ DUCATI +1.535
3 Francesco BAGNAIA DUCATI +3.562
4 Jorge MARTIN DUCATI +10.526
6 Marco BEZZECCHI DUCATI +16.946
7 Franco MORBIDELLI YAMAHA +18.553
8 Jack MILLER KTM +19.204
10 Luca MARINI DUCATI +19.740
11 Maverick VIÑALES APRILIA +21.189
12 Johann ZARCO DUCATI +23.598
13 Marc MARQUEZ HONDA +27.079
14 Augusto FERNANDEZ KTM +28.940
15 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +29.849
16 Iker LECUONA HONDA +50.960
17 Alvaro BAUTISTA DUCATI +53.564
18 Takaaki NAKAGAMI HONDA +1m42.162
Not Classified
DNF Brad BINDER KTM 9 laps
DNF Joan MIR HONDA 16 laps

MotoGP Max Speeds Across Race Weekend

Pos Rider Bike Speed
1 Jorge MARTIN DUCATI 337.5
3 Francesco BAGNAIA DUCATI 336.4
4 Brad BINDER KTM 335.4
6 Maverick VIÑALES APRILIA 335.4
8 Marc MARQUEZ HONDA 335.4
9 Luca MARINI DUCATI 334.3
11 Joan MIR HONDA 334.3
12 Jack MILLER KTM 334.3
13 Johann ZARCO DUCATI 334.3
15 Alvaro BAUTISTA DUCATI 333.3
18 Miguel OLIVEIRA APRILIA 332.3
19 Augusto FERNANDEZ KTM 332.3
20 Takaaki NAKAGAMI HONDA 329.2
21 Iker LECUONA HONDA 329.2

MotoGP Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
1 Bagnaia 412
2 Martin 398
3 Bezzecchi 323
4 Binder 254
5 Zarco 200
6 Espargaro 198
7 Viñales 175
8 Marini 171
9 Quartararo 156
10 Miller 156
11 Marquez 149
12 Di Giannantonio 100
13 Morbidelli 93
14 Marquez 84
15 Bastianini 76
16 Oliveira 76
17 Fernandez 69
18 Rins 54
19 Nakagami 52
20 Fernandez 40
21 Pedrosa 32
22 Mir 24
23 Espargaro 13
24 Savadori 9
25 Folger 9
26 Bradl 8
27 Pirro 5
28 Petrucci 5
29 Crutchlow 3
30 Lecuona 0
31 Bautista 0

Moto2 Race

Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is the 2023 Moto2 World Champion thanks to second place finish at Sepang. The Spaniard becomes the youngest Moto2 title winner – taking that accolade off Marc Marquez – as Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools Speed Up) strode to a commanding third win of the campaign. Marcos Ramirez (OnlyFans American Racing) kept his composure to secure a hard-earned debut Moto2 rostrum in P3.

Pedro Acosta
2023 Moto2 World Champion

There was drama from the off as polesitter Aldeguer and Manuel Gonzalez (Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Team) made contact on the exit of Turn 1 which saw the latter crash out. Thankfully everyone managed to avoid the Spaniard but one rider who had to take evading action was Arbolino. The Italian lost ground and was down to P7, with Acosta capitalising on Gonzalez’s misfortunes to climb up to P2.

Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools Speed Up) won the race at Sepang

On Lap 2, desperate to pick off the riders ahead of him, Arbolino’s slim title hopes then all but vanished. The #14 made small contact with Ai Ogura’s (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) rear wheel at Turn 9, then made more contact with Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40), as Arbolino ran onto the grass. That dropped him outside the top 20.

Back at the front, Aldeguer was operating on another level. By Lap 4, the Spaniard was over two seconds clear of Acosta, who in turn was over a second up the road from third place Ramirez. Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools Speed Up) was P4 and had Ogura and Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) for company, with Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) and Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) just slightly adrift of the fight for P4.

Aldeguer’s lead kept growing and with seven laps left, six-seconds split him and Acosta. Ramirez was holding Lopez, Ogura and Dixon a second behind him, with Ogura beginning to climb all over the back of Lopez’s rear wheel. With six to go, Ogura was through and then set about chasing Ramirez for the final spot on the podium.

With three to go, Ramirez was coming under increasing pressure. Ogura was taking two or three tenths a second a lap out of the Spaniard’s advantage but up the road, there were no issues whatsoever for Aldeguer and the Champion elect Acosta.

Aldeguer took the chequered flag a sensational 7.1s clear of anyone to claim a dominant victory, but it was all eyes on the rider in P2 as Acosta crossed the line to become the 2023 Moto2 World Champion and a two-time Grand Prix Champion after his 2021 Moto3 success. Take a bow Pedro, what a season!

Just behind, Ramirez did manage to fend off Ogura to claim a first Moto2 podium, with the latter coming from P13 on the grid to challenge for a podium, as Dixon rounded out the top five. Chantra and Lowes take home P6 and P7, with Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team), Albert Arenas (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and the recovering Arbolino rounding out the top 10. A disappointing day for the #14 sees his title hopes disappear for 2023, but he’ll be back stronger in 2024

Barry Baltus (Fieten Olie Racing GP), Jeremy Alcoba (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2), Alex Escrig (Forward Team), Filip Salac (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2) and Dennis Foggia (Italtrans Racing Team) were the final points scorers in Malaysia.

2023 Moto2 Sepang Podium

Moto2 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Fermín ALDEGUER BOSCOSCURO 36m04.378
2 Pedro ACOSTA KALEX +7.128
3 Marcos RAMIREZ KALEX +9.558
4 Ai OGURA KALEX +9.992
5 Jake DIXON KALEX +11.652
6 Somkiat CHANTRA KALEX +13.675
7 Sam LOWES KALEX +15.200
8 Joe ROBERTS KALEX +18.482
9 Albert ARENAS KALEX +20.004
10 Tony ARBOLINO KALEX +20.990
11 Barry BALTUS KALEX +21.570
12 Jeremy ALCOBA KALEX +23.489
13 Alex ESCRIG FORWARD +25.791
14 Filip SALAC KALEX +29.853
15 Dennis FOGGIA KALEX +29.923
16 Taiga HADA KALEX +32.681
18 Zonta VD GOORBERGH KALEX +38.800
19 Sean Dylan KELLY FORWARD +41.799
20 Rory SKINNER KALEX +44.758
21 Mattia CASADEI KALEX +53.217
22 Alonso LOPEZ BOSCOSCURO +58.554
23 Helmi AZMAN KALEX +1m09.940
24 Lukas TULOVIC KALEX +1m20.633
25 Sergio GARCIA KALEX 1 lap
Not Classified
DNF 20 Azroy ANUAR KALEX 9 laps
DNF 13 Celestino VIETTI KALEX 9 laps
DNF 40 Aron CANET KALEX 12 laps
DNF 18 Manuel GONZALEZ KALEX 12 laps
DNF 5 Kohta NOZANE KALEX 13 laps
DNF 28 Izan GUEVARA KALEX 15 laps

Moto2 Max Speeds Across Race Weekend

Pos Rider Bike Speed
1 Izan GUEVARA KALEX 279.7
2 Ai OGURA KALEX 279.0
3 Somkiat CHANTRA KALEX 278.3
4 Albert ARENAS KALEX 277.6
5 Dennis FOGGIA KALEX 277.6
6 Darryn BINDER KALEX 276.9
9 Jake DIXON KALEX 276.9
10 Pedro ACOSTA KALEX 276.9
11 Jeremy ALCOBA KALEX 276.2
12 Celestino VIETTI KALEX 276.2
13 Sergio GARCIA KALEX 276.2
14 Lukas TULOVIC KALEX 276.2
15 Manuel GONZALEZ KALEX 275.5
16 Kohta NOZANE KALEX 275.5
17 Barry BALTUS KALEX 275.5
18 Tony ARBOLINO KALEX 275.5
19 Taiga HADA KALEX 274.8
20 Alex ESCRIG FORWARD 274.8
21 Rory SKINNER KALEX 274.8
23 Marcos RAMIREZ KALEX 274.1
24 Aron CANET KALEX 274.1
25 Joe ROBERTS KALEX 274.1
27 Sam LOWES KALEX 273.4
28 Sean Dylan KELLY FORWARD 273.4
29 Mattia CASADEI KALEX 273.4
30 Filip SALAC KALEX 273.4
31 Helmi AZMAN KALEX 270.6
32 Azroy ANUAR KALEX 270.0

Moto2 Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
1 ACOSTA Pedro 320.5
2 ARBOLINO Tony 243.5
3 DIXON Jake 183
4 ALDEGUER Fermín 162
5 CANET Aron 159
6 CHANTRA Somkiat 153.5
7 LOPEZ Alonso 127
8 GONZALEZ Manuel 122.5
9 OGURA Ai 119.5
10 SALAC Filip 110
11 VIETTI Celestino 106
12 LOWES Sam 91
13 GARCIA Sergio 84
14 ROBERTS Joe 80.5
15 ARENAS Albert 79
16 BALTUS Barry 53
17 RAMIREZ Marcos 49
18 ALCOBA Jeremy 46.5
19 BINDER Darryn 32
21 FOGGIA Dennis 28
22 GUEVARA Izan 20
23 VD GOORBERGH Zonta 17
24 TULOVIC Lukas 12
25 PASINI Mattia 11
26 HADA Taiga 4.5
27 ESCRIG Alex 3
28 SKINNER Rory 2
29 KELLY Sean Dylan 1
30 GOMEZ Borja 0
31 NOZANE Kohta 0
32 TORRES Jordi 0
33 SURRA Alberto 0
34 TATAY Carlos 0
35 DALLA PORTA Lorenzo 0
36 AGIUS Senna 0
37 RATO Mattia 0
38 MINAMIMOTO Soichiro 0
39 CASADEI Mattia 0
40 DANIEL Kasma 0
41 RUIZ Yeray 0
42 SANCHIS David 0
43 AZMAN Helmi 0
44 BALDASSARRI Lorenzo 0

Moto3 Race

The Netherlands has a new Grand Prix winner, and the first since 1990 as Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) defeated team-mate – and title challenger – Ayumu Sasaki in the PETRONAS Grand Prix of Malaysia. Championship leader Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) completed the podium in a close race to the finish that went right to the final corner. It’s now likely a two-horse race for the crown too, with some big drama for three of the five contenders on the way into the weekend at Sepang.

Moto3 Sepang 2023

Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) got the best start from Row 2 and looked like he was going to take the holeshot before Veijer shot through and somehow kept it nicely in line, with Masia then able to grab second too. It didn’t take long for the Leopard rider to grab the lead though, and the number 5 then started to seriously push. Who could go with him?

Ayumu Sasaki

Initially the answer was Sasaki, Veijer and Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo), but the small group couldn’t break away. It quickly became a freight train once again, but there was drama coming.

Ayuma Sasaki leading team-mate Collin Veijer

After a dramatic weekend before the lights went out, with the Buriram winner suffering some crashes including in qualifying, David Alonso (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) started well down the order. By 13 laps to go, he was already into the top ten. But then came the drama as he suddenly crashed out in the group, taking, among others, fellow contender Dani Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) out of the race – all riders ok, but the group split and two key members of the Championship fight out of the race.

The group became Masia, Sasaki, Veijer, Öncü, Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers Team). As the laps ticked down the tension was high but no one was able to make a difference – until a difference was made for some. Rueda got it wrong at the final corner when going for a move on Bertelle, making contact with the Italian then unable to save it and going down – in a nightmare, also tagging and taking down his teammate Öncü just ahead. Again, all riders ok – Bertelle staying upright and Öncü getting back in it, but that left a trio fighting for victory: Masia, Sasaki… and Sasaki’s teammate, Veijer.

Collin Veijer leads

This wasn’t a team game though. Veijer passed Sasaki for the lead as the final lap began, and he then got the hammer very much down as he gunned for his first Grand Prix win to follow up his maiden podium. But still, it all went down to the final corner.

Sasaki looked for a way through and it looked like he couldn’t find one, but Veijer was wider than his teammate – leaving them gassing it away from the apex almost in unison and the number 71 very close behind. But the drag to the line wasn’t enough and Veijer kept it, taking his first win and first Grand Prix victory for the Netherlands since the 1990 Czech GP!

Collin Veijer victorious

Sasaki took second on a day that saw so many contenders find bad fortune, but Masia also took a valuable podium and 16 points. The Spaniard is therefore now 13 clear of Sasaki in the title fight, with Alonso and Holgado both now at a deficit of 41 points.

Ortola ultimately came home fourth ahead of David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports), with Adrian Fernandez (Leopard Racing), Xavier Artigas (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) and Joel Kelso completing the second group down to P8.

Filippo Farioli (Red Bull KTM Tech3) beat Ryusei Yamanaka (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) to ninth, with Bertelle ending up P11 after his involuntary excursion. Öncü impressively got back on and took P12. But not so, with a time penalty equivalent to a Ride Through later given to Muñoz for causing a crash, moving all up a position behind where he’d crossed the line and that just enough to technically keep Öncü in the fight for the crown…

Collin Veijer – P1

I feel great! It was incredibly exhausting! It was a great race and I tried to stay at the front as much as I could. At one point I had to attack my team-mate because otherwise the group behind me would have overtaken me as well. In the end, we achieved a 1:1 for our team and I’m very happy about that. I would like to thank the whole team for their tireless help.”

Collin Veijer
Ayumu Sasaki

I think I had a great race. I was leading a lot, controlling the pace while trying to manage the tyres. I knew that Jaume Masia and my team-mate were with me and in turn 8 on the last lap I didn’t expect Collin to overtake me there. I didn’t brake that late, otherwise I could have been more ‘there’. Nevertheless, we have reduced the gap in the championship and still have two races to go. We will give our maximum.”

2023 Sepang Moto3 Podium

Moto3 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Collin VEIJER HUSQVARNA 33m30.072
3 Jaume MASIA HONDA +0.328
4 Ivan ORTOLÁ KTM +6.830
5 Adrian FERNANDEZ HONDA +7.191
6 Xavier ARTIGAS CFMOTO +7.354
7 Joel KELSO CFMOTO +7.400
8 Filippo FARIOLI KTM +11.175
9 Ryusei YAMANAKA GASGAS +11.287
10 Matteo BERTELLE HONDA +11.441
11 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM +14.095
12 Vicente PEREZ KTM +14.490
13 Scott OGDEN HONDA +15.600
14 Joshua WHATLEY HONDA +17.148
15 Stefano NEPA KTM +17.195
16 Lorenzo FELLON KTM +17.251
17 David MUÑOZ KTM +33.878
18 David SALVADOR KTM +35.410
19 Mario AJI HONDA +35.517
20 Syarifuddin AZMAN KTM +55.108
Not Classified
DNF José Antonio RUEDA KTM 3 laps
DNF Kaito TOBA HONDA 4 laps
DNF Diogo MOREIRA KTM 11 laps
DNF Riccardo ROSSI HONDA 11 laps
DNF Daniel HOLGADO KTM 11 laps
DNF Romano FENATI HONDA 12 laps

Moto3 Max Speeds Across Race Weekend

Pos Rider Bike Speed
1 Riccardo ROSSI HONDA 233.2
2 Joel KELSO CFMOTO 232.7
3 José Antonio RUEDA KTM 232.7
5 Kaito TOBA HONDA 231.7
6 Xavier ARTIGAS CFMOTO 231.7
7 David MUÑOZ KTM 231.2
8 Jaume MASIA HONDA 231.2
9 Diogo MOREIRA KTM 231.2
10 Vicente PEREZ KTM 231.2
11 Lorenzo FELLON KTM 231.2
12 Stefano NEPA KTM 231.2
13 Syarifuddin AZMAN KTM 231.2
14 Adrian FERNANDEZ HONDA 230.7
15 Matteo BERTELLE HONDA 230.2
16 Taiyo FURUSATO HONDA 230.2
17 Ivan ORTOLÁ KTM 230.2
18 Daniel HOLGADO KTM 230.2
19 Scott OGDEN HONDA 229.7
20 David ALONSO GASGAS 229.7
21 David SALVADOR KTM 229.2
22 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM 229.2
23 Filippo FARIOLI KTM 229.2
24 Joshua WHATLEY HONDA 229.2
26 Ryusei YAMANAKA GASGAS 228.8
27 Romano FENATI HONDA 226.4
28 Mario AJI HONDA 225.4

Moto3 Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
1 MASIA Jaume 246
2 SASAKI Ayumu 233
3 ALONSO David 205
4 HOLGADO Daniel 205
5 ÖNCÜ Deniz 196
6 ORTOLÁ Ivan 170
7 MOREIRA Diogo 131
8 VEIJER Collin 130
9 RUEDA José Antonio 111
10 MUÑOZ David 102
11 NEPA Stefano 101
12 TOBA Kaito 97
13 YAMANAKA Ryusei 78
14 ARTIGAS Xavier 77
15 ROSSI Riccardo 66
16 FURUSATO Taiyo 56
17 SUZUKI Tatsuki 50
18 KELSO Joel 49
19 BERTELLE Matteo 48
20 SALVADOR David 31
21 FENATI Romano 30
22 OGDEN Scott 24
23 FERNANDEZ Adrian 23
24 MIGNO Andrea 17
25 FARIOLI Filippo 15
26 FELLON Lorenzo 6
27 AZMAN Syarifuddin 5
28 CARRARO Nicola Fabio 5
29 WHATLEY Joshua 5
30 AJI Mario 4
31 PEREZ Vicente 4
32 ALMANSA David 0
33 ADITAMA Arbi 0
34 BUASRI Tatchakorn 0
36 LUNETTA Luca 0
37 SHAHRIL Danial 0
39 KEANKUM Krittapat 0

2023 MotoGP Calendar

Rnd Date Location
1 Mar-26 Portugal, Portimao
2 Apr-02 Argentina, Termos de Rio Honda
3 Apr-16 Americas, COTA
4 Apr-30 Spain, Jerez
5 May-14 France, Le Mans
6 Jun-11 Italy, Mugello
7 Jun-18 Germany, Sachsenring
8 Jun-25 Netherlands, Assen
10 Aug-06 Great Britain, Silverstone
11 Aug-20 Austria, Red Bull Ring
12 Sep-03 Catalunya, Catalunya
13 Sep-10 San Marino, Misano
14 Sep-24 India, Buddh (Subject to homologation)
15 Oct-01 Japan, Motegi
16 Oct-15  Indonesia, Mandalika
17 Oct-22 Australia, Phillip Island
18 Oct-29 Thailand, Chang
19 Nov-12 Malaysia, Sepang
20 Nov-19 Qatar, Lusail
21 Nov-26 Valenciana, Valencia


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