Bautista is top Independent Ducati in seventh place

2018-11-05 16:52
Ángel Nieto Team rider starts from ninth and fights at the front for another top ten finish

The 2018 Malaysian Grand Prix looked to be heading for another classic head-to-head between Valentino Rossi and Marc Márquez in the final laps. The Italian, who has not won since Assen in 2017, dominated the race at Sepang but as the laps ticked by Márquez closed in and with four remaining the veteran crashed out, leaving the Spaniard to take a comfortable win. Attention at that point turned to the battle for second place between Álex Rins and Johann Zarco, with the Spaniard closing down the Frenchman’s advantage before making the telling pass on the final lap. Meanwhile Andrea Dovizioso secured the runner-up position in the MotoGP World Championship with sixth place today.

Álvaro Bautista and the Ángel Nieto Team continued their recent good form together, ending the flyaway races with a seventh-place finish in Malaysia, where Bautista crossed the line as the top Independent Ducati rider. The Spaniard struggled for rear grip during the race but gave everything to finish just four seconds behind factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso. After taking fifth in Japan and fourth in Australia, Bautista’s latest effort keeps him twelfth in the championship, just a point behind Dani Pedrosa in eleventh. His teammate Karel Abraham was unable to finish the race in Malaysia because of an electronic problem, which ruled him out from the fourth lap when he was in nineteenth position. The Czech rider has had an unlucky weekend, with his crash yesterday in the sudden rainstorm, and he is hoping to be back in the battle for points at Valencia.

7th Álvaro Bautista: “I struggled quite a lot with rear grip, I was losing a lot of traction on the exits of the corners and the bike was sliding around and running wide. I was quite limited with what I could do but I gave the maximum I could. We have finished as the second Ducati, four seconds behind Dovizioso on the factory bike, which I think is a good result and it keeps up my recent run of top ten finishes. It has been a good spell for us here in Asia.”

Karel Abraham (DNF): “It is incredible how much bad luck we have had this weekend. We had a technical problem on the first day, I had a crash as soon as it started raining yesterday and that left me in pain for today, when we had an electronic problem that shut the bike down and wouldn’t restart. I was feeling better this morning and I was close to the top ten in warm-up. I didn’t get a great start in the race but I had passed a couple of riders and was closing on Nakagami, who ended up fourteenth, when the bike stopped. We will work out the problem but I am disappointed because I think we could have repeated the performance from Japan and picked up some points, but unfortunately we go home with nothing.”

Source: Ángel Nieto Team

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