Pedrosa takes red-flagged Sepang
KING IN THE RAIN: Honda's Dani Pedrosa won the 2012 Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang - and gives a big grin on the podium. Image: AP
Rain stopped the 2012 Malaysian MotoGP on Sunday with Honda's Dani Pedrosa declared the winner ahead of Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and Honda's Casey Stoner.
The result brings Pedrosa back within reach of the World title.
Wet race! That’s what went up on the boards for the start of the 2012 Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang with Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) on pole after a track record-setting qualification.
Rain was still falling, but lightly, as the Malaysian national anthem was sung and the riders and commentators were talking of a 20-lap race that would almost be a lottery.
SEVEN SECONDS THE DIFFERENCE
The warm-up lap saw the riders testing the conditions through the curves of the Sepang track with Lorenzo well out ahead of the other riders and a dry line forming as the rain eased off but with more threatening.
Dani Pedrosa (Honda) and Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) made up the rest of the front row as the lights went out with the first seven riders covered by less than a second in qualifying.
With no rain falling, and Rossi already up to fifth from 11th, the pack tip-toed around with Casey Stoner up to third from fourth.
Bradl was fifth and Dovizioso sixth then quickly up to fourth with all riders still in the race despite the difficult conditions with the rain back – but not heavy – and Pedrosa staying just out of the spray being thrown up by race leader Lorenzo’s Yamaha, 15sec off the qualifying times.
With a quarter of the race run, Lorenzo and Pedrosa were six seconds clear of Stoner, Dovizioso and Rossi but with Pedrosa stalking the leader and the real fight going on further back between Stefan Bradl (Honda), Nicky Hayden (Ducati) and Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) in that order.
STONER MOVES UP
First rider down was Ben Spies (Yamaha) on lap 12 as he simply went too low. Doviziso followed him on to the tar a lap later, out of third place and on the same lap Pedrosa went past Lorenzo with a glorious slide
At halfway it was now Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Stoner, Hayden and Cal Crutchlow who had started 2, 1, 4, 9 and 5 and the track still throwing up a lot of water. Colin Edwards was in the pits with a problem and a lap later unlucky Crutchlow slid off and out. Then it was Bradl in the sudden spate of falls along with Randy du Puniet.
With eight laps left Stoner started to move up to just over three seconds behind the leader who was now just under four seconds ahead of Lorenzo and the rain getting heavier and Lorenzo aquaplaning and waving a hand to indicate the race should be stopped - and shortly afterwards coming very close to the gravel.
Then indeed the red flags came out as the track became to dangerous on lap 14 with Pedrosa waving to ask “why have we stopped?”.
The race distance, according to the rules, was not far gone enough to prevent a re-start but all the riders coming into the pits, leaving a five-lap race to be run and the teams asking “have we really stopped?”.
At this stage the first three were Pedrosa, Stoner and Hayden in that order. Tyre-warmers were on the bikes, just in case... but the rain was pouring down.
A possible re-start was confirmed, but not only was rain slashing across the track and visibility poor with daylight fading. Only 14 possible riders were available but the number of laps for a restart was raised to seven.
Many spectators, sure it was all over, were also making an early departure. But then it was all over, the race finally stopped.
The next race will be at Phillip Island in Australia a week hence.
Result from the 2012 Malaysian MotoGP
1 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda - 29min29.049
2 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha - 29min32.823
3 Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda - 29min36.193
4 Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Ducati - 29min39.567
5 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Ducati - 29min45.808
6 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda - 29min46.325
7 Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati - 30min19.331
8 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Aprilia - 30min20.634
9 James Ellison (Britain) Aprilia - 30min25.725
10 Karel Abraham (Czech Republic) Ducati - 30min26.671
11 Danilo Petrucci (Italy) Ioda - 30min31.854
12 Michele Pirro (Italy) Honda - 30min31.940
13 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Yamaha - 30min58.038
2012 points standings
1 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha - 330
2 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda - 307
3 Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda - 213
4 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Yamaha - 195
5 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda - 154
6 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Ducati - 148
7 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha - 135
8 Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda - 125
9 Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Ducati - 114
10 Ben Spies (U.S.) Yamaha - 88
11 Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati - 79
12 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Aprilia - 63
13 Randy de Puniet (France) Aprilia - 53
14 Karel Abraham (Czech Republic) Ducati - 43
15 Michele Pirro (Italy) FTR - 30
Grids for Sunday's Malaysian Motorcycle GP
1 Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) 2min 00.33
2 Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) +0.194
3 Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Yamaha) +0.233
4 Casey Stoner (AUS/Honda) +0.477
5 Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Yamaha) +0.844
6 Ben Spies (USA/Yamaha) +0.851
7 Hector Barbera (ESP/Ducati) +0.960
8 Stefan Bradl (GER/Honda) +1.157
9 Nicky Hayden (USA/Ducati) +1.192
10 Alvaro Bautista (SPA/Honda) 1.306
11 Valentino Rossi (ITA/Ducati) +1.449
12 Aleix Espargaro (SPA/ART) +2.508
1 Pol Espargaro (ESP/Kalex) 2min 06.962
2 Scott Redding (GBR/Kalex) +0.437
3 Marc Marquez (ESP/Suter)+0.604
4 Takaaki Nakagami (JPN/Kalex) 0.655
5 Johann Zarco (FRA/Motobi) +0.710
6 Bradley Smith (GBR/Tech 3) +0.759
7 Esteve Rabat (ESP/Kalex) +0.812
8 Thomas Luthi (SUI/Suter) +0.870
9 Alex De Angelis (RSM/FTR) +0.887
10 Dominique Aegerter (SWI/Suter) +0.910
1 Zulfahmi Khairuddin (MAS/KTM) 2min 13.885
2 Jonas Folger (GER/Kalex KTM) +0.266
3 Sandro Cortese (GER/KTM) +0.714
4 Louis Rossi (FRA/FTR Honda) +0.796
5 Luis Salom (ESP/Kalex KTM) +0.932
6 Miguel Oliveira (POR/Suter Honda)
7 Efren Vazquez (ESP/FTR Honda) +1.481
8 Brad Binder (RSA/Kalex/KTM) +1.584
9 Alex Rins (SPA/Suter Honda) +1.929
10 Adrian Martin (SPA/FTR Honda) +1.973
Sepang Moto 3 result
1 Sandro Cortese (Germany) KTM 40min54.123
2 Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Malaysia) KTM 40min54.151
3 Jonas Folger (Germany) Kalex 40min54.370
4 Luis Salom (Spain) Kalex 41min02.626
5 Miguel Oliveira (Portugal) Honda 41min02.797
6 Danny Kent (Britain) KTM 41min03.458
7 Alex Rins (Spain) Honda 41min13.096
8 Efren Vazquez (Spain) Honda 41min19.542
9 Niklas Ajo (Finland) KTM 41min24.837
10 Adrian Martin (Spain) Honda 41min24.886
11 Arthur Sissis (Australia) KTM 41min25.009
12 Brad Binder (South Africa) Kalex 41min25.142
13 Jack Miller (Australia) Honda 41min25.348
14 Alex Marquez (Spain) Honda 41min25.436
15 Niccolo Antonelli (Italy) Honda 41min25.772
Moto3 riders’ standings
1 Sandro Cortese (Germany) KTM - 280
2 Luis Salom (Spain) Kalex - 207
3 Maverick Vinales (Spain) Honda - 199
4 Alex Rins (Spain) Honda - 128
5 Romano Fenati (Italy) Honda -- 126
6 Danny Kent (Britain) KTM - 118
7 Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Malaysia) KTM - 112
8 Miguel Oliveira (Portugal) Honda - 94
9 Jonas Folger (Germany) Ioda - 88
10 Efren Vazquez (Spain) Honda - 85
11 Alexis Masbou (France) Honda - 81
12 Louis Rossi (France) Honda - 76
13 Niccolo Antonelli (Italy) Honda - 74
14 Arthur Sissis (Australia) KTM - 68
15 Jakub Kornfeil (Czech Republic) Honda - 59
1 Alex de Angelis (San Marino) FTR 36min57.793
2 Anthony West (Australia) Speed up 36min58.503
3 Gino Rea (Britain) Suter 36min59.156
4 Hafizh Syahrin (Malaysia) FTR 37min00.734
5 Julian Simon (Spain) Suter 37min05.376
6 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Speed up 37min07.855
7 Mika Kallio (Finland) Kalex 37min20.871
8 Bradley Smith (Britain) Tech 3 37min24.750
9 Dominique Aegerter (Switzerland) Suter 37min27.856
10 Esteve Rabat (Spain) Kalex 37min29.307
1 Marc Marquez (Spain) Suter - 283
2 Pol Espargaro (Spain) Kalex - 235
3 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Speed up - 188
4 Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Suter - 177
5 Scott Redding (Britain) Kalex - 148
6 Mika Kallio (Finland) Kalex - 119
7 Bradley Smith (Britain) Tech 3 - 104
8 Esteve Rabat (Spain) Kalex - 99
9 Dominique Aegerter (Switzerland) Suter - 87
10 Alex de Angelis (San Marino) Suter - 86