Shell Advance Grand Prix of Malaysia 2013

Posted on Oct 07, 2013 by Nick Harris


Bradley Smith bounced back to form with a hard earned seventh place in the previous round in Aragon. The Oxfordshire rider is tenth in his rookie season and looks forward to Sepang where he tested pre-season and has taken two 125cc second places.

Race Direction will hold an enquiry at Sepang in Malaysia on Thursday following the incident between Repsol Honda team-mate MotoGP championship leader, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa at the previous round in Aragon.

They will technically analyse the incident in which they touched at turn 12 of the Iveco Grand Prix of Aragon which cut a cable to a real wheel sensor on Pedrosa’s machine causing him to crash. Marquez went on to win the race.

Marc Marquez marches into Sepang for the Shell Advance Grand Prix of Malaysia on Sunday unfazed by the Race Direction enquiry that will take place on Thursday morning. The 20 year old Repsol Honda rider can’t mathematically win the title on Sunday but with a 39 point advantage and four rounds remaining could make that historic world title a possibility in Australia a week later.

The championship leader got back to winning ways at the previous round in Aragon in a controversial victory that saw team-mate Dani Pedrosa’s championship dream disappear after crashing out. His only challenge for the title will come from current World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. It promises to be another great battle in the heat, humidity and often torrential rain round the 3.447 miles circuit situated next to Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Ironically both riders have only secured one win at Sepang and have mixed memories of the circuit that stages the pre-season tests. Marquez won the 125cc race in 2010 with Lorenzo’s only success in the 250cc class in 2006. Lorenzo clinched his first MotoGP title finishing third in 2010 while Marquez’s Moto2 Championship chances disappeared with a big practice crash a year later.

Pedrosa, who dropped a further 20 points behind Lorenzo, has a better record at Sepang together with Lorenzo’s team-mate Valentino Rossi.Pedrosa won the shortened race last year to follow 125 and 250cc victories. Rossi, fresh from that third place in Aragon, has six MotoGP victories on both Yamaha and Honda machinery.

The battle for fifth place in the championship could go all the way to the wire with Cal Crutchlow coming under pressure from Stefan Bradl and Sepang 125cc winner Alvaro Bautista. Crutchlow, riding the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha is struggling with lack of power but still holds a defendable 21 point advantage over the LCR Honda of Bradl. Just ten points behind him is Spaniard Bautista who is in good form coming into the final four races.

Former World Champions Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden struggle on riding the factory Ducatis while Bradley Smith and Aleix Espargaro, who should announce his plans for next year at the weekend, continue to hassle them throughout practice, qualifying and the races.Dovizioso has two MotoGP podium finishes in Sepang while Hayden has finished fourth on six separate occasions.

Andrea Iannone seeks a strong finish to an injury hit rookie year while his new Pramac Ducati team-mate Yonny Hernandez pushes on from his 12th on his debut in Aragon. Hiroshi Aoyama won two 250cc races at Sepang and Luca Scassa will continue to replace the injured Karel Abraham at Cardion AB.

Circuit Length: 5.548 kms/3.447 miles
Width: 25m
Pole Position: Left
Longest Straight: 920m
Left Corners: Five
Right Corners: Ten
Pole Position Record: Jorge Lorenzo/Yamaha 2.00.334 (2012)
Lap Record: Casey Stoner/Ducati 2.02.108 (2007)

Friday 11 October
MotoGP/Moto3/Moto2 FP 1 Connected TV/Online
06:05 - 09:00 Moto3/MotoGP/Moto2 FP 2 Connected TV/Online and British Eurosport 2

Saturday 12 October
MotoGP/Moto3/Moto2  FP3, Connected TV and Online
05:20 - 09:05 Moto3/MotoGP and Moto2 Qualifying Red Button and British Eurosport 2
14:35 - 15:35 MotoGP qualifying repeat BBC2

Sunday 13 October 1
05:45 - 08:30 Moto3 and Moto2 races Red Button and British Eurosport 2
08:25 - 10:00  MotoGP race BBC2
12:30 - 14:05  MotoGP race repeat BBC2

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