Marquez Wins the Sepang Crashfest, Equals Doohan's 12-Victory Record

Marc Marquez on the starting grid in Sepang, 2014 21 photos
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Marc Marquez returned to winning in the searing Malaysian heat. This is the 12th victory this year, putting him on par with MotoGP Legend Mick Doohan. However, as the 2014 season still has a final act less two weeks from now, at Valencia, we might just see another page written in the sport’s history books.
Marquez managed to put an end to Yamaha’s 4-win streak after a race which started in a rather bad way for him. The young Spaniard los position right from take-off, as Jorge Lorenzo was quick to lead the race straight from the early stages. Still, it looks like the Cobra was again not entirely happy with the tires, as he started to lose the advantage he had. We’ve been used to see him open an increasing gap once he’s in the lead, but at Sepang, things did not roll out as expected.

In fact, halfway through the race, Rossi took over, after Lorenzo ran wide once more. Marquez was also quick to seize the opportunity and passed Lorenzo, as well, managing to get the better of Rossi a couple of turns later and fending off the Italian’s attacks through the end of the race.

Lorenzo was followed by Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith, with Pol Espargaro (riding with a fractured metatarsal bone), Yonny Hernadez, Andrea Dovizioso, Hector Barbera and Scott Redding completing the top 10.

Only 14 riders crossed the finish line

No less than 8 riders have added a DNF to their names, with Dani Pedrosa even crashing twice. While he was able to restart his bike in the first place and managed to fight back really close to the top 10, his second spill left him out of the race. With this Pedrosa also lost the battle for the podium as 33 points separate him from Lorenzo now, and this means that things are through.

Aleix Espargaro and Avaro Bautista clashed and the bike of the latter took down the former, with no serious injuries reported. Crutchlow and Iannone retired with mechanical problems, adding their names to the DNF list alongside, Alex De Angelis, Danilo Petrucci, Karel Abraham, and Nicky Hayden.

This allowed riders who often struggle at the limit where MotoGP points end to happily count some more. Di Meglio, Broc Parkes and Michael Laverty all finished inside the points zone.

Honda claims the 63rd Constructor’s Championship title

With Marquez’ victory in Sepang, Honda won their 63rd world title in the Constructor’s Championship. This year’s title is the 21st in the premier class (8 in MotoGP and 13 in 500cc), adding to the six 350cc titles, 19 in the 250cc class, 15 in the 125cc class and even two in the 50cc category.

However, the Team Title will be decided at Valencia in the second weekend of November. With Smith’s positioning, he helped Tech3 Yamaha switch places with Ducati in the team classification and if the results in Valencia are as good as those in Sepang, we’re having two Yamaha teams on the podium. The gap between Tech3 and Ducati is only 18 points, so anything can happen.

Meanwhile, Repsol Honda leads with 567 points, but things are far from being settled for good, as Movistar Yamaha has 538 points so the fight for the team title goes to the wire.

Things are not settled completely

November 9 brings the final round of the 2014 championship and here are the positions which cannot be changed any more. Marquez is the 2014 World Champion with 337 points. Dani Pedrosa is safe in the 4th position with 230, outside the reach of Andrea Dovizioso who has 174. The big battle will be between Lorenzo and Rossi, as there are 12 points between them.

In the Open class Aleix Espargaro is leading with 117 points, followed by Scott Redding with 75 points. Pol Espargaro is the rookie of the year, with 126 points. Get ready for Valencia and for the new 2015 MotoGP grid.
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