Franco Morbidelli comes home in twelfth place at Sepang
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider takes control of the Rookie of the Year classification with teammate Tom Luthi finishing in sixteenth position.
Tropical heat and 53 degree track temperatures returned to Sepang as Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Tom Luthi took to the track for the Malaysian Grand Prix, round 18 of the MotoGP World Championship.
Franco Morbidelli was in 20th position in the warm-up on a still drying track after overnight rain. In the race Morbidelli pushed hard in the first half of the race to be in the points in 14th and close behind Aleix Espargaro with eight laps remaining. As the laps counted down Morbidelli completed his sixth consecutive race scoring points with a 12th place finish. Morbidelli is 14th in the standings with 50 points and first in the Rookie of Year.
Tom Luthi completed the warm-up in 21st and readied himself for another bid to grab his first championship points of the season. With a calm and consistent opening to the race Luthi staged a long battle with Bradley Smith with the pair fighting over the final points scoring position until the end. Luthi missed the points by just two seconds and finished 16th for the fifth time this season.
The final round of the MotoGP World Championship will be held from November 16 to 18 at Valencia in Spain.
Franco Morbidelli: 12th, +30.933
“I am very satisfied with the work the team did this weekend”
“I am happy with this result, it was a nice recovery to gain so many positions after starting from 19th on the grid. I am very satisfied with the work the team did this weekend and now I am really looking forward to the final race in Valencia.”
Tom Luthi: 16th, +41.820
“A pity that again I am sixteenth and so close to the points”
“It was a hot race and I was struggling a little for the first two laps with rear edge grip and I nearly went down at the final corner. But then I found a good pace and felt good on the bike but later I struggled again with rear grip and I lost time which cost me a chance of some points. I was very close and so a pity that again I am in sixteenth place.”