BAD luck wrecked any hope of a podium finish among Malaysian teams in Moto2 and Moto3 at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang yesterday.
In Moto3, Petronas Sprinta Racing rider John McPhee, who started from third on the grid, was forced to settle for seventh in the race after being hampered by tyre issues for much of the race while teammate Ayumu Sasaki crashed out early.
Leopard Racing’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta, who was crowned the lightweight division world champion at Phillip Island last week, won in 38:01.355s, while Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Sergio Garcia came in second. Mugen Race’s Jaume Masia completed the podium.
McPhee, who has already notched three podiums this season including his win at Le Mans, was nevertheless relieved to have added another nine points to his championship tally.
“I felt really good at the start of the race, I tried my best to conserve my tyres and not do anything silly,” McPhee said.
“Unfortunately, there was an accident about five or six laps in, I managed to avoid it but unfortunately I got tapped from behind (by another rider) and I guess that (contact) must have taken a chunk out of my tyre.
“Instantly, I had a lot of vibration in the bike and lap by lap it got worse. To be fair, it was okay for 75 per cent of the track, it was just for certain corners that it affected the front of the bike.
“It was a shame to not be able to be in the fight (for podium) on the last lap but at the same time I am happy that I managed to stay out of the trouble that went on around me.
“Obviously, it was not quite the result I was hoping for at Petronas’ home race but it is more points on the board and also more information that we have gathered here which will be useful for next season.”
A total of eight riders did not finish the Moto3 race.
Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Adam Norrodin fared no better in Moto2 as he too crashed out early in the intermediate class.
ONEXOX TKKR SAG duo Tetsuta Nagashima and Remy Gardner finished within the points in eighth and 14th respectively.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder took the win in 38:07.843s with EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ Alex Marquez and Dynavolt Intact’s Thomas Luthi coming in second and third respectively.
The second place finish was enough to see Marquez secure the Moto2 title this season.