Valentino Rossi's crash towards the end of the race puts Marquez at the top spot.
It was a sunny morning at the Sepang International Circuit where Johann Zarco, Valentino Rossi and Andrea Iannone sat on the first row of the grid at the race start. However, the race didn’t end that way and it was Marc Marquez who took pole again after already having secured the championship title at the Japanese Grand Prix.
At the start, Rossi took the top spot during the first lap of the race after making a brilliant launch. Andrea Iannone, however, suffered from a crash during the same lap and wasn’t able to continue the race. Johann Zarco, on the other hand, didn’t make any mistake and stayed on Rossi’s tail. Meanwhile, world champion Marc Marquez had other plans, and had begun picking up positions after starting the race from seventh place, as he was given a six-place grid penalty for obstruction during qualifying.
While it took Marquez only five laps to climb from seventh position to second, right behind Rossi, he wasn't able to close the gap between himself and the MotoGP veteran. Rossi was struggling for rear tyre grip in the closing stages of the race and knew that the reigning champion was closing on him. As he tried to up the ante, the rear tyre of his M1 slid and this resulted in him crashing out. With Rossi out, Marquez relaxed his pace and went on to win the race and earn Honda the 2018 constructors title. It was Alex Rins who then passed Zarco on the final lap to take second place. Johann Zarco managed to grab the last step on the podium and was the best Yamaha rider ahead of factory rider Maverick Vinales who took fourth. Dani Pedrosa took fifth and Dovizioso secured sixth place. While Rossi would be livid with himself for missing out on a much needed win, he would be happy with the pace shown by the Yamaha machine, which has recently struggled against the Honda, Ducati and even the Suzuki bikes.