Mir and Marquez ready for final overseas showdown in sizzling Sepang
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS embark on the third and final leg of the gruelling flyaway triple header this weekend when Joan Mir and Alex Marquez do battle in the penultimate podium of 2018 in the tropical heat of Malaysia.
The Moto2 World Championship is drawing to an exciting climax and this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit gives Joan Mir and Alex Marquez the chance to stake a claim for the podium again.
A brilliant victory charge from Joan Mir in Phillip Island last weekend means he arrives back in South East Asia brimming with confidence, as second in Australia moved him to within three-points of Lorenzo Baldassarri in the fight for fourth in the overall rankings.
Mir’s last experience of Sepang was an incredibly fruitful one. He fended off the determined challenge of Jorge Martin and Enea Bastianini to claim an 11th career win in Moto3 one year ago, which set a record for the most number of wins in the 250cc single-cylinder four-stroke category.
Alex Marquez is hoping to be back in peak physical condition this weekend after heavy pre-race crashes in both Japan and Australia hindered his bid to claim a first podium since the Dutch TT in Assen.
He finished less than four seconds off the win in Phillip Island in seventh, but has vowed to go all-out to register his first podium finish in Sepang after a couple of near misses earlier in his career. He was fourth in a pulsating Moto3 race in 2013 and missed the podium by just under 0.4s and in another epic fight in 2014 he was just 0.5s outside of the top three in fifth.
Moto2 practice in Malaysia commences at 9:55am local time on Friday morning and the penultimate race of 2018 is due to start at 13:20pm on Sunday.
Joan Mir: 5th in the overall standings on 149 points
“My confidence is very high after the Phillip Island podium”
“Malaysia is a country and circuit that I like a lot and I’m excited to race next weekend after the podium in Australia. The big challenge is the heat. I like hot conditions but only when I am at the beach, but I like the track and normally I am competitive but we can’t forget I’ve not raced on this track in Moto2 before. I hope I am as competitive in Moto2 as I was before in Moto3 but my confidence is very high after the good performance in Phillip Island.
Alex Marquez: 6th in the overall standings on 148 points
“I am optimistic about being competitive in Sepang”
“Malaysia is always a difficult challenge because of the hot conditions but I like to race at Sepang because it is a fast and wide layout. We have a good package to go there and be optimistic about being competitive. I am 100% motivated to be fast and to do the best possible to end the flyaways with a positive result.
Track facts / Sepang International Circuit (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Length: 3.444 miles (5.543 metres)
Width: 52.49 ft. (16 metres)
Corners: 5 (left) + 10 (right)
Longest straight: 3018.37 ft. (920 metres)
Moto2 Race: 18 laps, 61.9 miles (99.8 km)
Best pole: Tom Lüthi (2'06.383 – 2015)
Circuit record: Miguel Oliveira (2'06.952 – 2017)
Top speed: Ricard Cardus, 170.8 mph (275.0 kph) – 2015)
2017 race winner: Miguel Oliveira (40'28.955)