Top-3 look heat stricken in godforsaken Malaysia heat
The Polini Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix concluded with Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro) winning for the tenth time in a fantastic World Championship season, the 22 year-old Australian securing a 1.701s win ahead of Honda Gresini’s
Marco Melandri, after starting second on the grid. Stoner now has a remarkable 106 point lead at the head of the premier class standings after dominating yet another MotoGP race, whilst Melandri moves up to fourth in the championship. Following Stoner’s 125cc victory in Malaysia in 2004 and his 250cc success in 2005, he becomes the first rider to win in all three classes at the Sepang circuit.
Behind the leading pair today Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa earned his seventh podium of the year, though he may be forced to settle for third in the World Championship with 24 points separating him from the man currently in second position, Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha), with one round remaining. The Doctor finished the Sepang race fifth, behind Kawasaki’s Randy de Puniet in fourth.
A solid performance from Honda Gresini’s Toni Elias saw him take sixth, while Rizla Suzuki’s Chris Vermeulen got the better of team-mate John Hopkins in the battle for seventh. Nicky Hayden did well to come home ninth in the end after an off track excursion mid-race, while his compatriot Colin Edwards rounded out the top-10.
The MotoGP paddock now jets back to Europe and the scene of Hayden’s dramatic 2006 World Championship victory. The Valencia circuit in Spain hosts the final round of the season in two week’s time on November 4th.
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