Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) had a fairly long shot at the title Down Under, but second time around it's a lot shorter as the paddock arrives at Sepang International Circuit. He's 28 points clear of nearest rival Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP), 33 clear of Phillip Island winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and 43 ahead of Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up), so fairly similar gaps to Australia...except now there's another race down and only 50 points left in play.
Those 50 points proved pivotal for Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40), however. Marquez' closest rival a few rounds ago is now out of the fight but could still play a big role in the outcome, with Phillip Island a definite blip in a solid season. With so many combinations that could decide the it, the likes of Fernandez, teammate Lorenzo Baldassarri, on-form Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and last year's Malaysian GP winner Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) could complicate matters.
The fight at the front, then, is just about that 25 point gap; Marquez needs to be 25 clear of Lüthi and Navarro and more than 25 clear of Binder. But it's not the only focus of the weekend, especially for the home fans. Petronas Sprinta Racing will have the crowd behind them on home turf as Adam Norrodin flies the Malaysian flag too, and he'll be looking to home in on the points as he fills in for sidelined Khairul Idham Pawi.
Moto2™ race at the later local time of 13:20 (GMT +8) on Sunday, tune in for another great race and one that could decide a little history. Can Marquez wrap it up this time around? Or will the points leader need some more patience? Find out in the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix.