By Le Figaro with AFP
The Spaniard Alex Marquez (Ducati-Gresini) won the sprint of the Malaysian MotoGP GP ahead of his compatriot Jorge Martin (Ducati-Pramac), who slightly reduced the championship gap on the Italian Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), third Saturday at the Sepang circuit.
Starting in fourth position, Marquez had a superb race to win his second success in the sprint of the season after Silverstone in August, while Martin took two points from Bagnaia to return to 11 lengths behind the leader. “Today (Saturday) I absolutely wanted to win. We have great pace here so even for tomorrow (Sunday) we have a chance for the Grand Prix. I didn’t necessarily expect to be in front but I did everything perfectly so I’m very happy, especially since we were in difficulty during the last races“, underlined Marquez.
The reigning world champion, who had snatched pole position from under Martin’s nose, who had just fallen, late Saturday morning, failed to confirm in the afternoon in the Malaysian heat . “We needed to do our best and it wasn’t enough to win today. I didn’t have a good feeling on the bike“, said Bagnaia.
He even had to count on the kindness of his teammate and compatriot Enea Bastianini, who seemed more in rhythm but never attacked him, probably after receiving instructions from his Ducati team. “When you have nothing to gain, you have to protect your friend, your teammate, it’s normal», Confirmed Paolo Ciabatti, the sporting director of Ducati, on Canal+.
For once, Martin did not get an excellent start and quickly lost two places to find himself fourth behind Bagnaia, Marquez and Bastianini. Although he quickly overtook Bastianini, he was never able to fight for victory even if he managed to overtake Bagnaia a few seconds after Marquez. “It was a great race, the pace was incredible with a big fight. I didn’t have a very good start and I tried to regain positions. I thought I could win but I’m happy with my second place, it’s a good performance and we’ll have to repeat that tomorrow (Sunday)“, explained the Madrilenian.