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Sunday October 13, 2013 MYT 9:21:00 PM
Monday October 14, 2013 MYT 9:32:35 AM
by lim teik huat AND shamshul fitri
I did it. Spain's Dani Pedrosa retained the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix ahead of compatriots Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo at Sepang International Circuit on Sunday. AFP PHOTO/ Mohd Rasfan.
SEPANG: Dani Pedrosa of Spain put the Aragon incident and controversy behind him by winning the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix for the second straight year at Sepang International Circuit on Sunday.
Pedrosa started fifth on the grid but capitalised on a perfect start to finish the 20-lap race under hot, steamy conditions in 40:45.191.
Fellow Spaniard and MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez completed a Repsol Honda Team one-two in 40:47948 after prevailing in a nail-biting battle with Yamaha rider and country-man Jorge Lorenzo.
The reigning world champion rounded out the podium for Spain with 40:51.860.
Multiple world champion Valentino Rossi of Italy was unable to build on his front row start alongside Pedrosa and eventually settled for fourth, 10.351 seconds behind the race winner.
Pedrosa was the winner at Sepang last year - his first ever MotoGP win in wet conditions but Sunday's triumph was sweeter after a disappointing weekend which saw his title aspirations wiped out in Aragon two weeks ago.
The Repsol Honda star was left battered and bruised by the Aragon incident after team-mate Marquez came into contact with his bike.
That contact severed a rear-wheel sensor cable, disabling Pedrosa's traction control and causing a heavy fall while he was leading the race.
Marquez was handed one more penalty point on Thursday in Sepang, which is effectively a final warning for the contact with Pedrosa at Aragon while the team lost its 25 points.
Pedrosa, who relied on painkillers to lessen the effects of a badly bruised hip from Aragon, was delighted to return to bag his first win since Le Mans in May.
"It's a great feeling to come back and to win this race after the huge crash at Aragon, because physically it is very hard here.
"I have had a hard week and almost could not get out of bed, so it's great to come back and win this for the fans and the team.
"It's a shame really because I had a very good pace at Aragon and could have won, but unfortunately I crashed. So I just want to congratulate my fans, my team and my family.
"Today was a good day, the bike was working well.
"I wanted to make the best lap time but it was very hot out there and the tyres were sliding a lot," said Pedrosa.
Marquez was not too disappointed, however, and said extending his championship lead was the more important objective.
Marquez has amassed 298 points for a 43-point lead at the top of the standings over second placed Lorenzo and on course to lift the world title at Phillip Island in Australia this weekend.
"My start was not so good but I enjoyed the battle with Jorge (Lorenzo). My target was to finish in front of Jorge and I am happy we achieved this," said 20-year-old Marquez, who has won six races this season.
Pedrosa, despite collecting his third win of the season, remained on third with 244 points but virtually out of contention for the world title.
Tags / Keywords:
Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi, Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, Sepang International Circuit.
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