Shell Malaysia Grand Prix 2017
Posted on Oct 25, 2017 by Nick Harris
ROUND SEVENTEEN 2017 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY 29TH OCTOBER
Heat and humidity face the British MotoGP™
The British MotoGP™ riders arrive in the heat and humidity at the Sepang circuit for the penultimate round of the World Championship with great confidence following the encouraging results at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
While other World Championship motorsport evets struggle in Malaysia, round 17 of the MotoGP™ Championship in already a virtual sell out at the demanding 3.444 mile Sepang circuit situated close to the Kuala Lumpur International airport.
After crashing out of the previous two grands prix, Isle of Man based Midlander Cal Crutchlow bounced back to form on the LCR Honda to finish fifth in Australia and he looks to finish the season on a strong note to consolidate his ninth place in the championship or even push towards eighth.
Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding wants to finish his Ducati career on a high before joining Aprilia next season and he did a good job at Phillip Island finishing 11th, once place behind Bradley Smith on the factory KTM. Smith has two 125 cc podium finishes at Sepang and in Australia equalled his best result of the season.
Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes is seeing out his MotoGP™ season with the Gresini Aprilia team before switching back to Moto2™ next season. Tarran Mackenzie continues his Moto2™ adventure with Kiefer racing and makes his Sepang debut.
Scotsman John McPhee will be looking for a change of fortune as he fights for his grand prix future. He crashed from the British Talent Team Honda on the first lap of the Moto3™ race in Australia last Sunday.
Did you know?
• This is the 27th motorcycle grand prix event to be held in Malaysia.
• The first Malaysian Grand Prix was held in 1991 and has taken place every year since, with three different venues having been used; Shah Alam, Johor and Sepang.
• The first Malaysian Grand Prix held at the Shah Alam circuit in 1991 saw a debut win in the premier-class for John Kocinski riding a Yamaha. Italian riders dominated the smaller classes with Luca Cadalora (Honda) winning the 250cc race and Loris Capirossi (Honda) in the 125cc class.
• The Shah Alam circuit hosted the event for a total of seven years before the Malaysian GP went to Johor for a single year in 1998. The first Malaysian GP to be held at Sepang was in 1999 and this will be the 19th time that Sepang has hosted the event.
• Honda have had five victories at the Sepang circuit in the MotoGP™ era, including for four successive years from 2012 to 2015 - three wins for Dani Pedrosa and one for Marc Marquez. The first Honda rider across the line last year in Malaysia was Jack Miller in eighth place.
• Yamaha have also had five MotoGP™ wins at Sepang, the last of which was with Valentino Rossi in 2010.
• Ducati have taken four MotoGP™ victories in Sepang, including last year with Andrea Dovizioso. The win by Dovizioso last year was the first podium at Sepang for Ducati since Casey Stoner won the race in 2009.
• Sepang is Ducati’s equal most successful circuit, with the four wins prior to 2017 equalling the number of victories for Ducati at Motegi and Phillip Island.
• The best result for Suzuki at Sepang in the MotoGP™ era is fifth in 2010 with Alvaro Bautista. Suzuki with Kenny Roberts won the 500cc race at Sepang in both 1999 and 2000.
For the last three years the rider qualifying on pole for the MotoGP™ race at Sepang has gone on to win the race.
• The most successful rider at the Sepang circuit is Valentino Rossi with six GP wins (1 x 500cc, 5 x MotoGP™). The next most successful, with five wins is Dani Pedrosa (1 x 125cc, 1 x 250cc, 3 x MotoGP).
• The seven Moto2™ races that have taken place at Sepang have been won by six different riders: 2010 – Roberto Rolfo, 2011 – Tom Luthi, 2012 – Alex de Angelis, 2013 – Tito Rabat, 2014 – Maverick Viñales, and 2015 & 2016 – Johann Zarco.
• The five Moto3™ races that have taken place at Sepang have been won by five different riders: 2012 – Sandro Cortese, 2013 – Luis Salom, 2014 – Efren Vazquez, 2015 Miguel Oliveira and 2016 – Francesco Bagnaia.
Marquez so so close in Sepang
MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez is closing in on the 2017 title with two rounds remaining. He arrives at the 3.444 mile Sepang circuit for the Shell Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday with a 33 point advantage over Andrea Dovizioso. Marquez, riding the Repsol Honda, won the race three years ago and knows caution may be the way ahead in the race on Sunday after such a titanic battle in Australia on Sunday.
Dovizioso struggled in Australia on the factory Ducati but won the wet Malaysia race last year. Maverick Viñales’s third place in Australia was not enough to keep him in championship contention, but he should finish in third place and will be chasing another podium at the circuit where he tasted Moto2™ success. Frenchman Johann Zarco is having a brilliant rookie MotoGP season on the Monster Tech3 Yamaha and he’s won the Moto2™ race in Sepang for the last two years.
Dutchman Michael van der Mark is scheduled to make his MotoGP debut riding the Monster Tech3 Yamaha as replacement for Jonas Folger who will miss the race due to illness. Aprilia's Alex Espargaro is also expected to miss the Malaysian Grand Prix due to a hand injury from a crash in the Australian Grand Prix.
Italian Franco Morbidelli could clinch the Moto2™ World Championship in Sepang. After his third place in Australia he holds a 29 point advantage over Tom Luthi who won the Moto2™ in Malaysia six years ago. Miguel Oliveira, who brought KTM their first Moto2™ success in Australia which moved him up to third place in the championship, is a former Moto3™ winner as are Sandro Cortese and Francesco Bagnaia.
Spaniard Joan Mir clinched the Moto3™ World Championship in Australia last Sunday after winning the shortened race. His nearest challenger Romano Fenati should cement the runner-up sport on the Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda at Sepang with an impressive 42 point advantage over Spaniard Aron Canet.
BT Sport 2
Friday 27 October: 2.00am – 9.00am
Saturday 28 October: 2.00am – 9.15am
Sunday 29 October: 3.30am – 8.15am
Highlights Monday 30 October 19.00pm
talkSport2 will also have live commentary of the race on Sunday.