Joan Mir entertained the Malaysian fans with another masterclass win on the Sepang International Circuit, the 10th of the current season. Jorge Martin and Enea Bastianini completed the podium.
Jorge Martin started like a rocket from P2 on the grid and took the lead after Turn 1. At the end of the first lap, he had already put a gap of more than 1 second between him and the rest of the pack.
Enea Bastianini, Gabriel Rodrigo, Joan Mir, John McPhee and Livio Loi tried to catch up with him, but, eventually, only Mir and Bastianini managed to do that. Livio Loi ran all alone in P4 in the second part of the race, as the 5th place was disputed by a group of 10 riders.
Joan Mir was the first one to make a move on Martin. There was nothing the Del Conca Gresini rider could do, but he managed to stay close to the World Champion, not letting him go away. Once he got near the two Spaniards, Bastianini managed to overtake both and take the lead, but, just like Mir, he was not able to pull a gap.
With 4 laps remaining, Joan Mir took the lead from Jorge Martin, who was also overtaken by Bastianini. Some turns later, Martin fought back against Bastianini, nearly touching the Italian and pushing him outside the track limits. This duel slowed down both men, allowing Mir to pull a gap of more than half a second.
Martin was not able to melt the difference to Mir, and, in the last lap, he was again caught by Bastianini and overtaken by the Italian. However, in the last turn, Martin made a decisive move and secured 2nd place.
Joan Mir crossed the line in P1, clinching his 10 win of 2017. Now, he is 1 win away from Valentino Rossi s record for the most wins in the lightweight class (11 – established in 1999 in the former 125cc class). Jorge Martin once again missed a good chance to score his first ever career win, but this 2nd place brings him important points in the battle for 4th in the championship. Enea Bastianini had to be satisfied with 3rd, while Livio Loi came in P4 after a solid and solitary race.
Andrea Migno won the hard fought battle for P5, with John McPhee and Romano Fenati closely following in 6th and 7th, respectively.
Aron Canet came behind Fenati in 8th, with Fabio DiGiannantonio and Bo Bendsneyder completing the top 10.
In the championship standings, Joan Mir, already World Champion, extends his lead to 86 points ahead of Romano Fenati (321-235). The Italian veteran secured the runner-up spot as he is now 43 points ahead of Aron Canet, with only 25 still up for grabs. Jorge Martin consolidates 4th, as he is now 18 points ahead of teammate Fabio DiGiannantonio (171-153). Martin goes into the final round with a slight chance of finishing 3rd, as he sits 19 points behind Canet.
photo credit – Leopard Natural