After a brief stop in Indonesia to meet his numerous local fans at a Pull & Bear store in Jakarta, Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez headed to Malaysia to join his team at the Sepang International Circuit, which will play host to the third and final back-to-back flyaway race this Sunday.
Having been innocently involved in a racing contact at the Australian Grand Prix and forced to withdraw, Marc will be back on track to try and seal the Constructors title that is within Honda’s reach, thanks to a 39-point advantage in the standings.
The newly-crowned 2018 MotoGP world champion was involved in a scary clash with Tech 3’s Johann Zarco at Phillip Island, forcing him to retire from the race on lap five with damage, while his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa crashed out of the race on lap 11.
That race at Phillip Island was Repsol Honda’s first double DNF since the 2017 Argentina race it saw the Movistar Yamaha squad close the gap to 16 points in the teams’ standings, with Ducati edging closer to Honda to make it a 39-point deficit in the manufacturers’ championship.
The manufacturers’ crown could sealed this weekend, with the top Honda rider needing to finish at least fifth in Malaysia even if a Ducati rider wins, but the teams’ title looks set to go down to the final round in Valencia.
With the Team Title also to defend, Pedrosa is looking forward to racing at a track where he has been very successful in the past. As was the case for the Thai GP a few weeks ago, Marc and Dani will have to deal with the region’s typical extreme tropical weather conditions, with very hot temperatures and physically demanding sessions.
Results for Repsol Honda riders at the Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix are:
Marc Marquez has 2 wins — 1×125 (2010), 1xMotoGP (2014) — plus 1 podium and 4 pole positions.
Dani Pedrosa has 5 wins — 1×125 (2003), 1×250 (2004), 3xMotoGP (2012, 2013, 2015) — plus an additional 5 podiums and 4 pole positions.