MotoGP – Malaysian Grand Prix Race Results

The 17th and penultimate round of the 2015 MotoGP season set up to provide another fairy tale battle in this hotly contested and brilliantly fought world championship.  From the green lights aggressive and entertaining overtaking characterized the race, until a titanic battle between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez ended in controversy.

The first six laps of the Malaysian Grand Prix were the classic stuff of 2015, with Dani Pedrosa, Marquez, and Rossi trading places at the front while Jorge Lorenzo, the only man who could challenge Rossi for the world championship, carving his way up to them.

Lorenzo passed Rossi to take third, then Marquez for second and began chasing down Pedrosa, while Rossi and Marquez engaged in an epic, corner for corner battle for third.  It was thrilling, edge-of-your-seat stuff, particularly in light of the disparaging comments Rossi made to the press this week concerning his allegations that Marquez was deliberating sandbagging to allow Lorenzo, a fellow Spaniard, to win the title.

At the starting line, Rossi admitted that he was not sleeping well, and appeared even more anxious than at the start of the last race in Australia.  In Malaysia, Rossi surpassed Loris Capirossi as the man with the greatest number of MotoGP race starts, making him the most experienced road racer in modern history.  Also, in his near 20 years of professional racing, he has never blamed another rider to explain his results.  All of which makes the events of this week, and this race, so much harder to absorb.

Rossi looks at Marquez as the latter tries to squeeze into the rapidly diminishing track space left to him, moments before crashing. Screen grab : MotoGP.com
Rossi looks at Marquez as the latter tries to squeeze into the rapidly diminishing track space left to him, moments before crashing. Screen grab : MotoGP.com

On lap 13, after passing each other numerous times, Rossi inched ahead of Marquez and appeared to go wide and slow down, forcing Marquez to chose between contact and going off the track.  Marquez did bump into Rossi’s Yamaha and crashed, while Rossi continued on to win third place, just behind second place Lorenzo and winner Pedrosa.

In the television footage, replayed endlessly and from many angles, Rossi can be seen looking over his shoulder twice, making long eye contact with Marquez, indicating that he clearly knew where the Honda man was on the track.  Of course, Marquez could have braked, slowing down enough to tuck behind Rossi to resume the fight for the next corner, but history shows that Marquez does not ever back down even if it means crashing.

It is difficult not to judge Rossi badly.  The 36 year old Italian spent a lot of energy leading up to today’s race publicly charging Marquez with unsportsmanlike conduct, while it is also clear that Rossi was not able to race at the same pace of either Marquez or Lorenzo, which makes the incident look like a desperate, deliberate attempt to eliminate a key rival.

At the same time, the video and race officials agree that Rossi did not push Marquez or force contact in any way, unlike Marquez who has bulldozed unapologetically into other riders several times this year.

In any event, race control penalized Rossi, who will have to start the final MotoGP round in last place.  As Rossi said in a post race comment to Italian television :

“He [Marquez] made me lose the championship”.

Lorenzo said that he had “…lost respect for Rossi” adding that he felt the penalty Rossi received was light because of his famous name.

Rossi will begin his final race of the 2015 season in Spain, where the local press has scorched his name, calling the incident a “push” and accusing Rossi of kicking Marquez.  Rossi will also stand virtually no chance of competing for the race, having first to get past the entire pack just to get into the points.  Lorenzo, meanwhile, only needs 4 points to win the world championship.

Regardless of next weekend’s result, a brilliant MotoGP season is stained beyond repair.  A Lorenzo world title will be forever marred by the fact that his rival didn’t race him for the final, while Rossi, if by some miracle, comes out ahead to win his tenth world championship, has shown the dark qualities of anger, bitterness and resentment that run at odds with his career as the jovial, optimistic champion.

Pos. Rider Team Bike KM/H Diff.
1 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team Honda 163.7 40’37.691
2 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 163.4 +3.612
3 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 162.8 +13.724
4 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 162.1 +23.995
5 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda Honda 161.8 +28.721
6 Danilo PETRUCCI Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 161.3 +36.372
7 Aleix ESPARGARO Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 161.1 +39.290
8 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 161.1 +39.436
9 Pol ESPARGARO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 160.9 +42.462
10 Stefan BRADL Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 160.7 +44.601



19 thoughts on “MotoGP – Malaysian Grand Prix Race Results”

  1. I think Rossi was victimized by the MotoGP bigwigs who want a Spaniard to win the championship. They seemed to ignore the fact Marquez allowed Lorenzo to pass him early in the race with no trouble whatsoever, but then Marquez fights like hell to impede, and slow Rossi up. If Marquez had fought with Lorenzo, Rossi would have likely caught, and passed them both. In most forms of motorsport, a rider/driver who no longer has a shot at the championship will “back off” and let the contenders fight it out among themselves. It’s called “Sportsmanship.”

    And that “kick”, what a “crock!” I don’t believe it is possible to cause a bike to “low side” toward the kicker, like the way Marquez’s bike did, with just simple kick!! I’d like to see the someone put a couple of GP riders together and reproduce that “kick and low side” scenario.

    But it’s not over ’til the fat lady says it’s over!!! Rossi can still win the championship. Someone could accidentally put diesel fuel or apple juice in Lorenzo’s tank, causing him to drop out. Or another rider…maybe someone who started dead last because of a penalty…could “accidentally” bump into Lorenzo as he was being lapped. Remember if Lorenzo scores 6 or fewer points Rossi will win the championship, even if Val scores

    Dave Mazz

  2. Believe whatever. We are not members of any judging panel. Trust whomever is, doing the correct thing. Opinions and personal conclusions are worthless as my words. It is what they say it is. That is their job, not ours.

  3. #forzaVale Marquez clearly tried to ruin vales race, and hi did so for, at least, 5 reasons…

    1. MM is spanish and a spanish champion on Spain would be better for every spanish rider.
    2. Honda is sponsored by a giant spanish company. If that wasn’t enough, VR left a lot of broken hearts when he left Honda to Yamaha.
    3. VR as a champion would be a better marketing for Yamaha than Lorenzo as a champ. And Honda definitely wouldn’t like that
    4. The way that MM let JL overtake him like a good boy and when the fight was with VR, he transformed himself in a beast. He was faster than VR and kept slowing down to be between VR and JL.
    5. MM don’t want VR to win another championship because it would be more difficult for him to brake VR s record of 10 world tittles.

  4. Around the 30sec mark says it all.

    The whole ‘kicking’ idea is ridiculous, especially when viewed from the helicopter. Its amazing that Dorna came to that conclusion first and let the press run with it.
    To add insult to injury, on at least two occasions in the past MM only got a 1 point penalty for actually ramming and taking out other riders.

  5. I’ve been cheering for Rossi for several years and this season has been fantastic. Until yesterday. Actually Thursday when Vale started talking shit about Marquez. He’s the master of mind games (remember when he accurately predicted Gibernau will never win again) but Marquez is a great fighter and and great champion and doesn’t deserve these personal attacks from anyone let alone Vale. It’s dirty and disappointing and now it’s Jorge’s championship to lose rather than Rossi’s.

  6. Hell of a way to decide a championship. Was Marquez deliberately trying to get in Rossi’s way? Looked like it to me. Was Rossi trying to push him wide to slow him down and get him out of the way? Sure. Did he hit him or force him off the track? I don’t think so, as Mickey Mouse clearly turned into him, but I doubt he was upset about it. Did he kick him, as Marquez claims? I don’t think so; the helicopter shot seems to show that Marquez ran into him with his bar, and Rossi’s leg came off the peg after the impact. Was the penalty too harsh? I’d say so, given that it effectively wrecks the championship.

    Marquez has again proven himself an arrogant, petulant dick. Shame.

    1. What Larry said – Marquez could obviously have cleared off but chose to jam up Rossi.
      Seems to me VR46 just finally had enough and rubbed him off in a nice, slow corner.
      Was the penalty to insure a Spanish champion and not an Italian one ?
      Sure looked like it….

  7. If Rossi made a mistake it was looking over his shoulder. His emotion showed him to be human. At first I thought it was a mistake for him to lose it, then I thought would it be beyond Marques to take Rossi down. Fair play dictates closing the door, dealing with a dick warrants slamming the door. Go Vale!

    1. One thing Marquez has shown by action in the past couple of years is that he couldn’t give a rat’s ass if he crashes somebody else out in the course of the race, and in fact would rather crash than give an inch.. like today. I wouldn’t actually put it past Marquez to have thought “Okay, you run me wide, we’re both going”. Not much else explains the apparent decision to tuck into Rossi’s bike instead of running wider on the track to avoid.

  8. Rossi was very disappointing today, usually a class act he let his emotions get the best of him. MM was racing hard and it was very entertaining until the incident. The charges of colusion between the Spaniards is just ridiculous. Rossi cost himself the championship due to the penalty of starting the next race at the back of the grid.

  9. So, I watched the first few laps again, starting with just before the Marquez pass. Marquez runs wide, lorenzo goes past, marquez has no answer. He’d been complaining about front-end issues so yeah, one could see him running wide. Okay.
    Once Rossi comes up to him, it gets dicier. With 16 laps to go, there’s some close passing.. okay. Last exit to the straight, Marquez runs Rossi nearly into the grass. On that lap and the next one there’s some seriously close passing where Marquez is either contacting Rossi, running him wide, or lots of near-misses.
    The incident – NO question that Rossi sandbags him. Marquez from the looks of the replays had plenty of space to stand up the bike and remain on the track but instead CLEARLY opted to try and keep going around the outside, causing contact. It looked to me like Rossi at that point actually tapped Marquez’s foot to engage the rear brake (a stoning offense imo) but I couldn’t believe Rossi would take it that far. Subsequent replays show that Rossi’s foot came off *after* contact initiated by Marquez.

    So.. putting that all in context.. shitty move by Rossi but after what is clear is being pulled on him, I understand the motivation to run him extra wide. As I said, Marquez had room and chose not to take it. I’ve been in the exact situation where there wasn’t room and ran into the grass at speed – I know what it looks like to run out of tarmac.

  10. Unfortunately I think MM will need several more lessons in honest sportsmanship and fair play before he gets it. So sad his games have spoiled what was until yesterday a truly epic end to a very exciting season.

  11. WLF..WTF??
    It really was an entertaining battle with Rossi and Marquez trading places multiple times a lap.. Until Rossi’s head explodes and he ran Marquez off the road. What the hell was was he thinking.
    Rossi’s season has been a dream, having the opportunity to win another world championship after years of being another also-ran. In years past he’s had his wars with Biaggi and others, but this year it seemed to be a more mature, more humble Rossi. This championship would have been the cherry on top of the greatest racing career ever.
    The penalty that moves him to the back of the grid.. fair.. maybe. Would a race ban be appropriate?
    The Spanish Marquez fans will not be happy, especially with Rossi’s comments before the race.
    The Italian Rossi fans? Well Rossi is god..

    And Lorenzo who has done a great job positioning himself to get close to the championship lead… essentially gets a walk, (as long as he doesn’t fall off and hand it back to Rossi)

  12. The first seriously disconcerting moment for me today was the ease with which Lorenzo was able to hold his overtake of Marquez, I found it unusual and bordering on the suspicious that Marquez did not race with Lorenzo at all to regain his position, and then was truly a hornet with Rossi. Marquez was not going for the victory that he claims as his goal in every race; he has taken away the possibility of a truly spectacular final race and championship duel, why?because that duel does not include him this year (of his own doing)? Anyway, utterly diappointed in the overall sentiment when we should be celebrating these riders for their incredible athleticism and precision on these machines (shame on Malaysian crowd for booing Jorge). For the sake of the final I hope at least the Ducatis are very competitive.

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