The Repsol Honda team celebrated the 400th Grand Prix for an alliance that began in 1995, with a ninth win of 2018 for Marc Márquez and the clinching of the constructors title for Honda.
The MotoGP World Champion started from seventh on the grid and, within five laps, was second, 7 tenths behind Valentino Rossi.
Márquez never slowed his pace and, four laps from the end, was 6 tenths off the Italian, who crashed at Turn 1.
Dani Pedrosa climbed from tenth position on the grid to fourth, finally crossing the finish line fifth.
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15 hours ago
2018 Malaysian GP Race – Marc Márquez & Dani Pedrosa’s statements
It was a hard race, first of all because I was starting from seventh place. I didn’t get a perfect start, and then my first lap was good but not one of the best of my career. Step by step, I overtook some riders and got to second place. I saw that Valentino was pushing and I started to chase him, lapping at qualifying pace! But in the process, I overheated the rear tyre; the front was also warming up quickly and the feeling wasn’t good.
So for a few laps, I just tried to cool down and in so doing I began to feel better and better. I saw I was getting closer to Valentino and honestly that gave me extra motivation. At that moment, it was just a matter of instinct and pushing, something that you can do when you’ve already got the Championship.
Unfortunately, he made a little mistake in turn one, which is a shame as it would have been nice to see how the duel would have ended. Anyway, when I saw him crash, I just cooled down and focused on finishing the race.
We won, and that was the best way to seal the Constructors Championship. I would also like to congratulate Jorge Martin and “Pecco” Bagnaia for taking Championships. We’ll celebrate together in Valencia.
Today I focused a lot on the start because I was very far back on the grid. The start itself wasn’t perfect, but then I was able to recover a few places in the first corner.
Unfortunately, I lost some ground with Dovi and Marc just a couple of turns later. Anyway, the feeling at the beginning of the race was good enough and I was able to stay there close to the front. On the other hand, toward the end I began struggling with grip again and I was passed by Rins and Viñales.
All in all it was a little bit better race than usual. I would like to congratulate Martin for his title. He was able to overcome some difficulties this year, an injury and other issues, and he had a strong race today. He totally deserves this result.