Enea Bastianini bounced back to top form with a sensational victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang after leading the 20-lap race from turn 1 to the chequered flag. It was Enea’s first win for the Ducati Lenovo Team, his fifth MotoGP career victory, his first since Aragon 2022 and his first podium since the Malaysian race last year.
The top 4 positions remained unchanged throughout, with Bastianini setting the pace and finishing 1.5 seconds ahead of Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing). In the battle for the final podium place, Bagnaia and Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) twice had a skirmish in the early laps, but Pecco was able to comfortably pull away to put a gap of 3.5 seconds between himself and the Spaniard at the flag.
With today’s third place, Bagnaia’s lead over Martin has now increased to 14 points, with two rounds remaining and 74 points up for grabs. It was again an all-Ducati triumph, with the Italian manufacturer placing three bikes on the podium for the seventh time this year.
Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1st
“It's fantastic and emotional to get back to winning after a difficult period. Today I didn't want anything else, I just wanted to win, I didn't care about the rest, and I knew I could do it. In the race I pushed from the start as in qualifying, maintaining the gap, but I was totally at the limit, and couldn't give anything more but in the end, the victory came. I think that something exploded inside me this weekend and I went back to having fun. Certainly, one of the keys is that we modified the engine braking strategy, coming into line with what we saw from Thailand. What changed also was that I am not continually making mistakes when braking, which until recently happened every lap. I've always said that when you get back to having fun, you also go a lot faster.”
Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 3rd
“For sure it was very important to finish in front of my rival today. It wasn’t easy because after our battle I tried to catch the other two guys, but it was very risky because as soon as I was close to Alex, I struggled with too much tyre movement at the front, and it was better to finish the race and take the points. I’m very happy with everything, we managed to be competitive from the start of the weekend and I was in pole for the first time since Barcelona. Now we move on to Qatar which is another track where I go fast normally. There it will be the same situation and it will be important to fight back like we did today and give the maximum.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“It was a great weekend for the Ducati Lenovo Team. Both riders with our Desmosedici GP bikes were competitive and I really want to thank all the guys who work here and at home because they are doing a fantastic job and we are truly having a superlative season. Having said this, I am also really happy for Enea. After all the misfortunes he had this year, he finally managed to achieve a very important result which I believe boosts the morale and confidence for him and the whole team. Congratulations also to Pecco that with his third place after a strong weekend has made the day even more beautiful for us!”
The nineteenth round of the MotoGP World Championship – the Grand Prix of Qatar – will be held in one week’s time at the Losail International Circuit from 17-19 November.