Motorsport Wrap for Monday 22nd October 2012

Pedrosa Narrows the Gap

The race for the 2012 MotoGP championship is hotting up with just 23 points separating Spaniards Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa after a rain-shortened Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

Starting on pole, Yamaha rider Lorenzo selected the softer rear wet Bridgestone tyre for the race and got a good start to lead the first ten laps before Pedrosa made the race-winning pass under brakes into the final turn before the start of lap eleven.

With the rain getting heavier, Lorenzo survived a late scare while in second place before the race was red-flagged with seven laps remaining.

The race was scheduled to restart to run the final seven laps, but the persistent heavy rain resulted in race control deeming the race complete due to the unsafe condition of the circuit. The result handed Pedrosa his fifth win in the past six races, with Lorenzo second and Australia's Casey Stoner third.

"It was a really hard race in the beginning because I was trying to follow Jorge and find my rhythm," Pedrosa said.

"Mid-race I managed to pass him and do some good laps but then it started to rain really heavily. It was tough but I'm really happy as it was my first win in a wet race and it's a great feeling, so thanks a lot to my team."

All riders opted for the hard compound front wet Bridgestone tyres for the race, while rear tyre choice was evenly split, with ten riders each selecting the soft and hard compound wet tyre.

"The soft rear wet tyre gives better edge grip at a slight expense to durability but as the race was red-flagged after thirteen laps, the difference in performance between these two options didn't have a major influence on the result," said Masao Azuma - Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department.

"Overall, the low grip levels in the dry sessions this weekend combined with the intermittent rain made it challenging for the teams and riders, and resulted in every specification of tyre in our allocation for this weekend being used."

The title race now moves to Australia to the Phillip Island circuit.

1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 330 points
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 307
3. Casey Stoner (Honda) 213
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) 195