The Moto3 class has a new World Champion in Martin, who scored an awesome victory to secure the title by 26 points with one race remaining, at the top of an all-Honda podium. Honda also wins this year’s Moto3 World Championship, its 18th in the Junior class.

Twenty-year-old Martin and his NSF250RW have been the class act of the 2018 season, taking 11 pole positions and seven race victories so far. Only some bad luck and an injury prevented Martin from wrapping up the championship sooner.

Today’s race was a thrilling encounter. Martin started from pole position but went backward to tenth in the early laps, wary of a few damp patches around the track, while main title rival Marco Bezzecchi fought for the lead, aiming to keep the championship alive until the final race at Valencia, Spain.

At half-distance the lead group was tightly packed, as usual in Moto3, with the top ten covered by just 1.3 seconds, the lead changing between several different riders at every other corner. At one point Martin and Bezzecchi touched at the first corner as they contest first position. However, Martin was merely biding his time. He took the lead for the final time at the start of the 13th lap and then he showed his true speed, quickly escaping from the pack.

He rode his fastest lap 14 the next lap to lead by more than half a second. By the end of the next lap he was two seconds ahead and at the chequered flag he was 3.556 seconds ahead of Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), who just beat team-mate Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) to complete a Honda podium monopoly. With one race remaining, Honda NSF250RW fill five of the top six places in the championship.

Martin’s Sepang success follows victories in Qatar, the Americas, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and Aragon.

Dalla Porta enjoyed battling for his second victory of the year, following his maiden success in the San Marino GP. The 21-year-old Italian started from 14th on the grid, so he was happy enough with second. Bastianini also had to claw his way through the pack, coming through from 16th place on the first lap to claim the final podium position on the final lap, 0.201 seconds behind Dalla Porta.

Bezzecchi crossed the line in sixth, just one place short of keeping alive a very slim chance of bettering Martin for the title at the last race. Right behind him at the finish was 20-year-old Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW), who was the third rider in with an outside chance of the title, before his team-mate put the matter beyond doubt today. Di Giannantonio is now nine points behind Bezzecchi, so he does have a chance of taking the runner-up position in the championship later this month.

Honda’s last riders in the top ten today were front-row-starter Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda NSF250RW), 21-year-old Chiba rider Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) and Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW), who finished 4.715 seconds off the win and less than a second off the podium.

Local hero Adam Norrodin (Malaysian Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) rode an amazing race but ended the day without reward. The 20-year-old Malaysian started the race from pit lane, following a rules infringement in practice, and made a miraculous charge through the pack to join the lead group in seventh place, only to slide off. The 20-year-old from Johor Bahru bravely remounted to finish last.

The 70th season of motorcycle Grand Prix season concludes at Valencia on November 18.

Jorge Martin

Jorge Martin 88

1st

"My whole life passed through my very own eyes. I come from a humble family and it wasn't easy to get here where we are now. I would like to thank everyone who supported me and helped me grow: from the ‘Cuna de Campeones’ to the rookies cup to obviously Gresini Racing. I saw this title almost slipping off my hands in Thailand when I thought I wouldn't have raced, but we did it and I want to thank everyone, including my rivals. To be winning the title and taking the race win at the same time is probably the best thing in the world, so thank you once again!"

Del Conca Gresini Moto3
Lorenzo Dalla Porta

Lorenzo Dalla Porta 48

2nd

“It was a great race on a very difficult track. I had a good start and I immediately I knew that I could push: if I reduced my rhythm for a moment, three rivals overtook me. So I tried to ride more aggressively and stay in the leading group. The team worked really well and I am very happy for my bike. When Jorge overtook me, there were some contacts with other riders and then I couldn’t close the gap. Another podium today, also important for the upcoming 2019 season: next year we will try to win the world championship!”

Leopard Racing
Enea Bastianini

Enea Bastianini 33

3rd

“It was an amazing race! After a not brilliant start, I managed to close the gap and bring me back to the leading group. The last lap was very difficult, because I had to protect myself from the rivals behind me and, at the same time, to try to overcome the guys in front. It's my 24th career podium. I'll go to Valencia to do the best I can.”

Leopard Racing
Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

Moto3 2018, Round 18

Sunday 4 Nov 2018, 08:56 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Jorge Martin 88 SPA 25 Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda 38'34.799
2 Lorenzo Dalla Porta 48 ITA 20 Leopard Racing Honda +3.556
3 Enea Bastianini 33 ITA 16 Leopard Racing Honda +3.757
4 Albert Arenas 16 SPA 13 Angel Nieto Team Moto3 KTM +3.795
5 Marco Bezzecchi 12 ITA 11 PruestlGP KTM +4.095
6 Fabio di Giannantonio 21 ITA 10 Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda +4.106
7 Darryn Binder 40 RSA 9 Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM +4.232
8 Tony Arbolino 14 ITA 8 Marinelli Snipers Team Honda +4.704
9 Tatsuki Suzuki 24 JPN 7 SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda +4.707
10 Niccolò Antonelli 23 ITA 6 SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda +4.715
11 Marcos Ramirez 42 SPA 5 Bester Capital Dubai KTM +4.727
12 Kaito Toba 27 JPN 4 Honda Team Asia Honda +5.101
13 Vicente Perez 77 SPA 3 Reale Avintia Academy KTM +6.392
14 Nakarin Atiratphuvap 41 THA 2 Honda Team Asia Honda +7.063
15 Kazuki Masaki 22 JPN 1 RBA BOE Skull Rider KTM +7.353
16 Andrea Migno 16 ITA 0 Angel Nieto Team Moto3 KTM +7.478
17 Makar Yurchenko 76 RUS 0 CIP – Green Power KTM +7.626
18 Ayumu Sasaki 71 JPN 0 Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda +13.843
19 Philipp Oettl 65 GER 0 Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing KTM +19.992
20 Jakub Kornfeil 84 CZE 0 PruestlGP KTM +26.678
Rider Standings
Sunday, 4 Nov 2018 - Open world standings grid
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Jorge MARTIN 88 SPA 240 Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda
2 Marco BEZZECCHI 12 ITA 214 PruestlGP KTM
3 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO 21 ITA 205 Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda
4 Enea BASTIANINI 33 ITA 166 Leopard Racing Honda
5 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA 48 ITA 151 Leopard Racing Honda
6 Aron CANET 44 SPA 128 Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda
7 Gabriel RODRIGO 19 RSM 116 RBA BOE Skull Rider KTM
8 Jakub KORNFEIL 84 CZE 115 PruestlGP KTM
9 Albert ARENAS 16 SPA 107 Angel Nieto Team Moto3 KTM
10 Marcos RAMIREZ 42 SPA 95 Bester Capital Dubai KTM
11 Andrea MIGNO 16 ITA 82 Angel Nieto Team Moto3 KTM
12 Tatsuki SUZUKI 24 JPN 71 SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda
13 Jaume MASIA 5 SPA 66 Bester Capital Dubai KTM
14 John MCPHEE 17 GBR 62 CIP – Green Power KTM
15 Niccolò ANTONELLI 23 ITA 62 SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda
16 Philipp OETTL 65 GER 58 Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing KTM
17 Darryn BINDER 40 RSA 57 Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM
18 Tony ARBOLINO 14 ITA 57 Marinelli Snipers Team Honda
19 Dennis FOGGIA 10 ITA 55 SKY Racing Team VR46 KTM
20 Adam NORRODIN 7 MAL 46 Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda
21 Ayumu SASAKI 71 JPN 45 Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda
22 Kaito TOBA 27 JPN 37 Honda Team Asia Honda
23 Alonso LOPEZ 72 SPA 36 Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda
24 Celestino VIETTI 31 ITA 18 SKY Racing Team VR46 KTM
25 Nicolò BULEGA 8 ITA 18 SKY Racing Team VR46 KTM
26 Vicente PEREZ 77 SPA 16 Reale Avintia Academy KTM
27 Raul FERNANDEZ 25 SPA 13 Angel Nieto Team Moto3 KTM
28 Makar YURCHENKO 76 RUS 9 CIP – Green Power KTM
29 Kazuki MASAKI 22 JPN 9 RBA BOE Skull Rider KTM
30 Livio LOI 11 BEL 8 Reale Avintia Academy KTM
31 Chantra SOMKIAT THA 7 AP Honda Racing Thailand Honda
32 Manual PAGLIANI 96 ITA 6 Leopard Racing Honda
33 Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAP 41 THA 4 Honda Team Asia Honda
34 Ai OGURA 32 JPN 1 Asia Talent Team Honda