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Lorenzo Battles for Sepang Podium

Yamaha Racing_Sepang MotoGP

Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo battled hard during the early stages of today’s Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix to take third on the podium.

Starting from fourth on the grid, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider was yet again off the start line like a bullet and the first rider through turn one in the lead. With both Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez snapping at his heels he put his head down and tried to break away. With 16 laps to go, Pedrosa made his move at the end of the back straight, taking the lead. Marquez then moved up into third and began an epic battle with Lorenzo, the two swapping positions multiple times and passing within millimetres of each other at speeds of over 190km per hour. With 11 laps to go Marquez was able to make his final pass tick on the inside of turn 14, leaving Lorenzo to hold third to the line and claim third on the podium.

Teammate Valentino Rossi dropped initially to fourth off the line from his second place grid position, tucked in behind Marquez on the first lap. The nine-time world champion made a move on Marquez at turn 10 but was unable to pass and settled back into fourth. Rossi spent several laps holding off the advances of Alvaro Bautista, narrowly escaping an incident when the Spanish rider overshot turn one, just missing Rossi as he ran wide. The rest of the race proved to be a lonely one as he held his position in fourth, crossing the line just over ten seconds behind the leader.

The results from the first of the overseas triple header sees Lorenzo hold second in the championship, now on 255 points, Rossi holds fourth on 198 points.

The team now moves directly to Australia for the next round at the Phillip Island circuit next weekend.

Jorge Lorenzo

3rd | +6.669 | 20 Laps

“We were much slower than the others today, especially after three or four laps. I tried to open a gap at the beginning like always but there was +0 on the board after a couple of laps. When Dani passed I tried to stay with him and also then again when Marc passed me. I tried to pass him some more times to make him nervous but it was impossible, he was much stronger today so we couldn’t do much more. To win the championship is almost impossible but I would like to finish second in the championship and win as many races as possible.”

Valentino Rossi

4th | +10.351 | 20 Laps

“Today was half and half for me, for sure we improved and made another step, improving the setting of the bike and I was able to be very close to Jorge. It looks like today our competitors had an advantage here; they were able to keep a better rhythm than us. Starting from second I hoped to arrive on the podium but I knew the top three guys were very strong. At the beginning of the race I lost some time as I had a problem with the front brakes. We continue to work and push and fight to be in with the top three.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“Well, it was a very hot race, especially at the beginning, Jorge made an amazing start again. I think he gave everything he had to fight with Marc but finally it was not enough and he had to let them go for third place. Podiums are always good and sometimes there are races you cannot win, this was one of those.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“The weekend didn’t go as we expected. We suffered a drop off in tyre life and we couldn’t ride the bikes as we needed to. We tried hard to make the best setting to be fast and consistent but unfortunately we still needed something more. We won’t give up until the end and fortunately there is one race in a week’s time. We would like to have our revenge so we are really looking forward to Phillip Island.”

Crutchlow and Smith battle hard in muggy Malaysia

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith battled hard in baking hot conditions to claim sixth and seventh respectively in front of a record crowd of over 84,000 fans packed into the Sepang International Circuit.

Temperatures still hit over 30 degrees, despite heavy cloud cover and a strong wind blowing around the vast Malaysian motorsport arena, when Crutchlow and Smith engaged in an early battle at the start of the physically challenging 20-lap encounter. A brilliant start from rookie Smith moved him ahead of his compatriot on the opening lap before Crutchlow moved back into the top six. From that early juncture, former World Supersport Champion Crutchlow was caught in a long and tough battle with Spaniard Alvaro Bautista, which went right down to the chequered flag. Crutchlow and Bautista exchanged several overtakes in an exciting battle but the 27-year-old missed out on his first top five finish since the Indianapolis round in August by just 0.152s. Today’s result though consolidated Crutchlow’s position as the leading non-factory rider in the World Championship rankings on 166-points, which keeps him 30 points clear of Bautista with just three races remaining.

Smith strengthened his quest for a top 10 overall finish in the Championship standings after he rode to a lonely but very valuable seventh position. The platform for his 10th top 10 finish of the campaign was a terrific launch off the line that put him right on the back of the leading group in the opening exchanges. Unable to keep himself in the hunt for a third top six finish, Smith kept razor sharp concentration in the extreme heat to streak away from those behind with relative ease and his fastest lap of the race was only just over 0.7s behind Crutchlow’s. The nine-points collected this afternoon could prove vital in the chase for 10th in the final standings, with the 22-year-old now six points clear of main challenger Aleix Espargaro.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team has little time to catch its breath now, with the squad heading off to Australia for the second of a gruelling flyaway triple-header that concludes in Japan on October 27.

Cal Crutchlow

6th – 166 points

“It was a difficult race and I am very pleased to be in the top six, though it would have been better to have won that fight with Alvaro. That’s about my level at the moment and we knew this is not an easy track for Yamaha. I lost quite a bit of time fighting with Alvaro because I was looking to push on and maybe chase Valentino. But at the start I couldn’t stop the bike with the soft front tyre and I had a few moments. And I was also struggling with a lack of rear grip and that made it quite a difficult race. It was a good battle with Alvaro and it was a pity he just beat me but at the of end of the day he is on a package very close to the one that won the race today. I’m still satisfied with sixth but I am not so happy with the gap to Dani at the front. I am confident though we will be stronger at Phillip Island.”

Bradley Smith

7th – 89 points

“To be honest today was a good way to end a very positive weekend. During the last three days we improved in every single session, we made progress with the setting of the bike and me finishing in 7th position is obviously a pleasant fact for my Championship standing. Today the track conditions were very tricky and with the higher temperatures the behavior of the bike was very different to what I experienced during the whole weekend and it took me awhile to adjust my riding style. But my second half of the race was quite strong and I am pleased with this. Furthermore we improved my feeling on full fuel load where I normally struggled a lot and also finishing the race still seeing Cal and Alvaro was a very positive feeling. So altogether I’m truly satisfied with this event and I will fly to Australia full of confidence and looking forward to the race next week.”

2013 MotoGP Malaysia

Sepang 13/10/2013

race I
1 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 40’45.191
2 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 0’02.757
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 0’06.669
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 0’10.351
5 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 0’22.149
6 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 0’22.301
7 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 0’30.864
8 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 0’45.111
9 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 0’59.264
10 Yonny Hernandez ART COL 1’01.417
11 Hiroshi Aoyama FTR JPN 1’03.665
12 Randy De Puniet ART FRA 1’14.256
13 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki ITA 1’21.603
14 Hector Barbera FTR ESP 1’27.976
15 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki USA 1’29.442

MotoGP World Standing

Rider Standings After Race 15 of 18

1. Marc Marquez Honda ESP 298
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 255
3. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 244
4. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 198
5. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 166
6. Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 136
7. Stefan Bradl Honda GER 135
8. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 120
9. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 102
10. Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 89
11. Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 83
12. Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 50
13. Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 47
14. Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki USA 32
15. Hector Barbera FTR ESP 29
16. Randy De Puniet ART FRA 27

Circuit Length:
5548

Weather:
Hot

Lap Record:
2’02.108
(Casey Stoner, 1-1-2007)

Fastest Lap Ever:
2’00.011
(Marc Marquez, 13-10-2013)

Last Years Winner:
Daniel Pedrosa

Manufacturer Standings

13/10/2013

1 Honda 329
2 Yamaha 306
3 Ducati 131
4 ART 85
5 FTR 40
6 FTR Kawasaki 35
7 Ioda-Suter 23
8 PBM 3

Team Standings

13/10/2013

1. Repsol Honda Team 542
2. Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team 453
3. Monster Yamaha Tech3 255
4. Ducati Team 222
5. Go&Fun Honda Gresini 138
6. LCR Honda MotoGP 135
7. Power Electronics Aspar 110
8. Pramac Racing Team 107
9. NGM Mobile Forward Racing 43
10. Avintia Blusens 43
11. Came Ioda Racing Project 23
12. Paul Bird Motorsport 10