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Márquez assumes Championship lead with Sepang victory

Márquez assumes Championship lead with Sepang victory

The Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider’s eighth win of the campaign at the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix lifted him to the top of the standings ahead of Nico Terol, who placed third in the race. Pol Espargaró came second.

Marc Márquez won from pole position at Sepang on Sunday to take over the leadership of the 125cc Championship by three points. The Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider led home a podium which was completed by Pol Espargaró (Tuenti Racing) and Nico Terol (Bancaja Aspar), the latter of whom he deposed from top spot in the fight for the 2010 World Championship.

It was the usual group of early frontrunners who contested at the head of the race in the opening stages, with a tactical battle unfolding in which Terol led by just over a second after the first lap.

However Márquez, who was desperate to not allow his rival to pull away further, proceeded to make determined headway as he passed Espargaró and Bradley Smith to move into second and lock onto Terol.

The battle of wits continued and each of the trio of Terol, Márquez and Espargaró all led at one point as first position continued to swap hands. Meanwhile Smith, Efrén Vázquez (Tuenti Racing) and Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo) closed the gap on the leading pack as they pursued potential podium spots.

With six laps to go Márquez began to turn the screw and opened up a gap of almost a full second over Espargaró, setting a fastest lap of the race in the process. From there the 17 year-old remained calm and controlled, eventually crossing the finish line 2.341s clear of Espargaró, with Terol just over a second further back.

Vázquez won the battle of the chasing pack for fourth position, with Smith and Cortese within half a second of him. The top ten was completed by Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX), Luis Salom (Stipa-Molenaar Racing), Tomoyoshi Koyama (Racing Team Germany) and Randy Krummenacher (Stipa-Molenaar Racing).

Unfortunately for British youngster Danny Webb (Andalucia Cajasol) he suffered a crash when running in ninth, whilst Danny Kent – who achieved Lambretta’s best ever qualifying result with 13th – was forced to retire with mechanical problems.

Márquez now tops the standings on 247 points, with Terol second on 244 and Espargaró third on 235 with three rounds remaining.


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