Valentino Rossi Wrestled through the mix from sixth on the grid to Finnish second in front of his team mate Jorge Lorenzo in third in the sweltering Sepang heat to give Yamaha two spots on the Rostrum at the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix
Rossi made an excellent start, getting up into second place from sixth on the grid on the second lap. Rossi closely followed his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammate Lorenzo until the midrace stage.
Lap ten saw Rossi pass Lorenzo, bringing Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) through with him. A mistake at Turn 15 on the next lap saw Marquez slip past the Italian. Lorenzo said later he found the conditions difficult having adopted a lighter training schedule during the flyaways.
“I’m very happy for this second place. It’s really important, we struggled during the weekend with the setting but this morning we found a good setting. I was never strong in practice, I couldn’t push at 100%. It was a long time since my last podium here, maybe 2010. I love this track so it’s great to return,” reflected Rossi.
He added, “I battled Jorge at the start and that was my target as we’re fighting for second in the championship. After that I saw that I had a strong pace and I was battling with Marquez for the victory, the tyres let go towards the end and Marquez had something more. I had to slow while he was able to keep the same rhythm, still a great second place. Double the podiums and victories of last year has been a great season.”
Lorenzo reflected, “Well, they were really difficult conditions, all weekend the conditions have been tough. It was the hottest race I’ve ever had here at Malaysia. I wasn’t the fittest as we trained a little soft. I felt strong physically and the bike was good with traction. My fitness (stamina) was not great as I haven’t trained hard these three weeks outside of Europe,” explained Lorenzo.
He continued, “The first corners were really exciting and I was brave throughout the opening lap. Valentino was so strong this weekend and I couldn’t stay with them. He did a great job and I was losing a bit on the harder tyre. We had some problems with the fuel tank as the support broke and I was sliding forward under braking.”