Honda tops again on Sepang cir­cuit

THE MO­TOR­SPORT LAP/ Rossi crashes out of Malaysian Mo­toGP, hand­ing win to Mar­quez

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - Mo­tor News Re­porter

World cham­pion Marc Mar­quez won his ninth race of the Mo­toGP sea­son af­ter Ital­ian great Valentino Rossi crashed out four laps from the fin­ish while lead­ing the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sun­day.

Mar­quez wrapped up his fifth world ti­tle with three races to spare in Ja­pan in Oc­to­ber but looked like hav­ing to set­tle for sec­ond place at the Sepang In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit.

Seven-times world cham­pion Rossi had streaked past pole-sit­ter Jo­hann Zarco at the start and built up a lead when he fell off his bike.

Mar­quez, who had topped the times in qual­i­fy­ing but rel­e­gated six places on the grid for im­ped­ing Suzuki’s An­drea Ian­none, safely ne­go­ti­ated the re­main­ing four laps to se­cure his 44th win in the top class of grand prix rac­ing.

The Spaniard’s vic­tory also se­cured the con­struc­tors’ cham­pi­onship for Honda for the fourth con­sec­u­tive year with one round of the sea­son left.

Alex Rins fin­ished sec­ond for Suzuki ahead of Yamaha rider Zarco with Rossi’s team­mate Mav­er­ick Vi­nales, who gave Yamaha a first win of the sea­son in Aus­tralia last week, a cred­itable fourth af­ter start­ing 11th.

Ital­ian An­drea Dovizioso was sixth be­hind Honda’s Dani Pe­drosa to en­sure he will fin­ish sec­ond in the cham­pi­onship ahead of Rossi, who re­mounted to cross the line in 18th.

Ear­lier, both ju­nior ti­tles were de­cided with Ital­ian Pecco Bag­naia seal­ing the Moto2 world cham­pi­onship for the Sky Rac­ing VR46 team by fin­ish­ing third as his team­mate Luca Marini, team owner Rossi’s half­brother, se­cured a maiden vic­tory. SA’s Brad Binder (KTM) was eighth and re­mains third in the cham­pi­onship

Spain’s Jorge Martin se­cured the Moto3 ti­tle with his sev­enth win of a sea­son that he has dom­i­nated for Honda. — Reuters

ALONSO, JOHN­SON SWAP

Twice For­mula One world cham­pion Fer­nando Alonso and seven-times Nascar cham­pion Jim­mie John­son will swap rides at the Bahrain In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit a day af­ter the F1 sea­son has ended. Spaniard Alonso, who will re­tire from F1 af­ter the sea­son fi­nale at Abu Dhabi on No­vem­ber 25, has wasted lit­tle time ex­plor­ing new ways of ex­tend­ing his rac­ing ca­reer.

He has re­ceived in­vi­ta­tions from al­most ev­ery ma­jor world mo­tor rac­ing se­ries from Indy­Car, to For­mula E and Nascar.

Alonso and John­son an­nounced the joint test in a video that ended with both driv­ers teas­ing each other, ask­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously: “Will you let me drive your car?” The an­swer is “yes” with Alonso get­ting his hands on John­son’s Hen­drick Mo­tor­sports Chevro­let and the Amer­i­can jump­ing into the Spaniard’s McLaren.

Alonso has made no se­cret of his goal of achiev­ing mo­tor rac­ing’s “Triple Crown” — wins at the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans 24 Hours and In­di­anapo­lis 500.

Twice tri­umphant at Monaco and win­ner of the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race in 2018, Alonso needs vic­tory in the In­di­anapo­lis 500 to be­come only the sec­ond driver af­ter the late Bri­ton Gra­ham Hill to claim the pres­ti­gious triple crown.

He com­peted at In­di­anapo­lis in 2017 and led be­fore his car’s en­gine blew. — Reuters

GINIEL BAGS SA TI­TLE

The Gold 400, the fi­nal round of the 2018 SA Cross Coun­try Se­ries that took place last week­end at Glen­harvie on the West Rand of Gauteng, de­liv­ered cham­pi­onships for both Toy­ota and Ford.

The bat­tle for the over­all ti­tle between the two Toy­ota Ga­zoo Rac­ing SA teams went to Dakar star Giniel de Vil­liers and Den­nis Mur­phy, with the pair bring­ing their Toy­ota Hilux home in first place ahead of team­mates Henk Late­gan and Barry White.

The Gold 400 was the de­cid­ing event for the Class T cham­pi­onship ti­tle with class lead­ers Lance Wool­ridge/Ward Huxtable (Ford NWM Ranger) and de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Jo­han/Werner Horn (Malalane Toy­ota Hilux), lock­ing horns to the end. Gary Bertholdt/Ge­off Min­nitt (At­las Copco Toy­ota Hilux) claimed their sec­ond vic­tory of the sea­son, with sec­ond place in the class for Wool­ridge/Huxtable mak­ing them the new cham­pi­ons.

Marc Mar­quez claimed his ninth win of the sea­son.

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