Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) won his third consecutive Moto3 victory today, exactly one week after securing the 2019 Moto3 World Championship at Phillip Island.
The last rider to win as many successive races in the Moto3/125cc category was Marc Marquez in 2010.
Today’s Malaysian Moto3 race was a typical Moto3 encounter, with a big pack of riders battling throughout for victory.
During the final laps 22-year-old Italian Dalla Porta began to assert his dominance, while half a dozen riders disputed the final podium positions just a few tenths of a second behind.
Finally Dalla Porta took the chequered flag 0.410 seconds in front, chased over the line by 16-year-old rookie Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW), who achieved his first podium with a thrilling final few laps to better fellow Spaniard Jaume Masia by three tenths of a second. Masia’s ride was spectacular – a technical problem had forced him to start the race from the back row of the grid!
Garcia’s fellow rookie Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) also rode a superb Malaysian GP, the 18-year-old from Saitama working his way through from 14th on the grid to steadily hunt down the lead pack. He so nearly repeated his Aragon GP podium, challenging for third place at the final corner and taking the flag in fourth, only 0.082 seconds behind Masia.
Ogura’s team-mate Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) was out of luck. The 19-year-old from Fukuoka was chasing a top-ten result when he was involved in a three-rider crash.
This was not first multiple incident. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) led the race before halfway when he crashed, his fallen machine taking front-row starter Tatsuki Suzuki (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) and Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) with him. No rider in these two accidents suffered serious injuries.
Pole starter Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) also led the race, ending the 17 laps in sixth, in the midst of the group fighting for second, just ahead of fellow front-row starter John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) who ran wide in the crucial final laps.
Today’s racing went ahead under a cloud. During yesterday’s Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup race Afridza Munandar lost his life following a lap-one incident. Despite the best efforts of circuit medical staff and those at Kuala Lumpur Hospital, where he was transferred by helicopter, Munandar succumbed to his injuries.
The 20-year-old Indonesian rider had been one of the standout riders of the 2019 IATC series, taking two race wins and four further podium results. The Honda Motor Co., Ltd would like to extend its deepest condolences to Munandar’s family, friends and loved ones.
Today’s opening Moto3 race was preceded by a minute’s silence in honour of Munandar, attended by much of the paddock. Most of today’s podium finishers dedicated their results to this great young talent.
Today’s Malaysian Grand Prix followed the Japanese and Australian events, on three consecutive weekends. The MotoGP paddock now returns to Europe for the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix in Spain on November 17.