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MotoGP analysis: How Vinales outpaced Marquez in Sepang

Maverick Vinales

Bengaluru, November 4: Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) put in a formidable performance at the Malaysia Grand Prix to destroy the opposition, picking up his second win of the 2019 season in emphatic style.

The Spaniard raced clear of a recovering second-place Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) fending off Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) for P3.

It was Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) who somehow shot up for the holeshot from the second row, the Aussie bravely heading round the outside to take the lead from front row starter Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) as his team-mate - and polesitter - Fabio Quartararo lost out.

MotoGP Raceweek: Redemption for Vinales after Phillip Island heartbreak

Marquez and Dovizioso, meanwhile, had made lightning starts to move through from P11 and P10 respectively, already well up in the fight at the front.

Frantic first lap

Frantic first lap

At the very front though, Vinales was already stalking his prey. It did not take long for the number 12 to strike, snatching the lead from Miller at Turn 11 as Marquez passed Morbidelli for P4.

A frantic first lap wasn't over yet though, as Dovizioso then battled Miller for P2 at Turn 14 and Turn 15 and both headed wide - allowing Marquez to pounce. He sat Miller up, but the Australian shot back past heading into Turn 1. That was only good news for Vinales, with the Spaniard already six tenths clear at the front.

Marquez steps up

Marquez steps up

Like Australia, Marquez said, he knew he had to try and get in behind the Yamaha to stay with him and it did not take too long for him to finally dispatch Miller.

Reeling Vinales in, however, looked like a serious mountain to climb this time around, with the gap well over a second. A tenth here and a tenth there got chipped away, but the number 12 machine in the lead had a healthy gap - and wasn't for slowing down.

Dovizioso grabs it

Dovizioso grabs it

It seemed, then, that the fight behind Marquez was going to remain the fight for third.

Dovizioso grabbed it from Miller on Lap 4 and Rossi was threatening too, with 'The Doctor' finally dispatching Miller not too long after - and the Australian suffering an almighty moment as he hung on to his Ducati.

Over to Valencia

Over to Valencia

The MotoGP caravan leaves Sepang and the flyaways with a new man on top after a run of dominant performances from Marquez.

Vinales couldn't be stopped in Malaysia, will the same be said at Valencia? Find out in two weeks as the paddock flies back to Europe for the season finale with Team Champions and the top Independent Team rider of the year honours up for the grabs

(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)

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Story first published: Monday, November 4, 2019, 10:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Nov 4, 2019
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