Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) returned to the top of the podium in Malaysia thanks to a win in wet conditions at Sepang. Second and third at the year’s penultimate MotoGPTM World Championship clash were Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.
Torrential rain broke out prior to the start of the 19-lap Malaysian Grand Prix, delaying the start by 20 minutes. Equipped with the medium compound Michelin Power Rain front and rear, pole-winner Dovizioso got away to a cautious start.
He was happy to run third in the order until Lap 11 when he found a way past Ducati team-mate Andrea Iannone to take second spot behind Rossi.
Three laps later, he benefitted from a mistake by the nine-time world champion to take control before upping his pace to pull more than four seconds clear of his fellow Italian. He was then able to ease up towards the end to cross the finish line with a safety margin of three seconds.
Jorge Lorenzo was the third man on the podium, helped by the falls of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Iannone.
It was Dovizioso’s second MotoGP victory after his British GP success back in 2009. He is the season’s ninth different winner, which is a new record for the series.
Héctor Barberá (Avintia Racing) and Loris Baz (Avintia Racing) were fourth and fifth.
Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Álvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS), Pol Espargaró (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) rounded out the top 10, while Marquez recovered to take 11th place.
The result made sure of 2016 runner-up honours for Rossi. Third place in the championship will be settled between Lorenzo and Viñales at the year’s finale at Valencia, Spain, in two weeks’ time.
Final round: Valencia Grand Prix, Spain (November 11-13).