Acosta 2023 champion in Moto2, Veijer breaks through in Moto3.
A timely return to form for Ducati Lenovo Team’s Enea Bastianini saw the Italian deliver a clinical Malaysian MotoGP victory, while Pedro Acosta secured the Moto2 crown in an intermediate class encounter that was won by Fermin Aldeguer at Sepang. Meanwhile, in Moto3, rookie Collin Veijer scored his first-ever world championship win.
From third on the grid, Bastianini launched to an early lead and managed the gap well to sprint race winner Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing) throughout much of the 20-lap encounter, ultimately taking the checkers with a 1.535s advantage.
Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) was third, 3.5s back after fending off an early challenge from title rival Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing). Martin struggled for pace as the bout progressed and finished fourth at the race’s conclusion, 10.526s from the victory.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) edged Mooney VR46 Racing Team’s Marco Bezzecchi for fifth, while behind the Ducati rider Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha), Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing) and Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) completed the top 10.
Superbike World champion Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing) finished P17 in his wildcard appearance, as Bagnaia leads Martin by 14 points in the championship with two rounds to go in the 2023 season.
Second place in the sweltering Malaysian intermediate class bout was enough for Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to secure the 2023 Moto2 World Championship, continuing his impressive title-winning path to MotoGP.
On the day however, there was no stopping the in-form Aldeguer, with the Spaniard delivering a commanding 7.128s victory, while Marcos Ramirez (OnlyFans American Racing) held off a hard-charging Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) for third. Meanwhile, GasGas Aspar Team’s Jake Dixon completed the top five.
In Moto3, Collin Veijer took a narrow 0.066s victory ahead of Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP teammate Ayumu Sasaki, while Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) claimed the final spot on the podium.
Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) and Adrian Fernandez (Leopard Racing) completed the top five, while Australia’s Joel Kelso (CFMoto Racing Pruestel GP) crossed the line in seventh.
Championship contenders Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and David Alonso (GasGas Aspar Team) both suffered a DNF, with the title-race now effectively a two-rider battle between Masia (246) and Sasaki (233), the latter yet to win a race this season.
The Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup (IATC) also competed at Sepang, with Indonesian Veda Pratama claiming the title with his seventh victory of the year in race two. Australia’s Levi Russo scored a P6 in that encounter, while Marianos Nikolis was eighth. In race one, Russo was again P6.
The penultimate round of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship takes place this weekend at Lusail, Qatar, before the season finals take place at Valencia, Spain, a week later.