Sepang Moto2: Marquez crowned champion as Binder wins

Alex Marquez sealed the 2019 Moto2 world championship, after finishing second to main rivals Brad Binder and beating Tom Luthi in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Sepang Moto2: Marquez crowned champion as Binder wins

The Marc VDS rider held his nerve in a tense battle with Binder and Luthi to keep his points gap above the required 24 to add to his 2014 Moto3 world title.

Ajo KTM’s Binder grabbed the holeshot and led Marquez and SAG’s Tetsuta Nagashima, while Luthi failed to advance on fifth on the opening lap.

Binder, who needed to win and hope Marquez finished third or lower to keep his outsider title hopes alive, tried to bolt straight away and was seven tenths clear of Marquez by the end of the opening tour.

Behind, Luthi made a crucial move on the sister Marc VDS of Xavi Vierge to move up to fourth and begin the hunt of the top three, while a mistake from Binder on lap four at Turn 8 gave Marquez the lead.

Binder dropped behind Nagashima, but quickly deposed him and clattered his way through on Marquez at the first corner on lap eight.

This battle allowed Luthi to close in on the leading trio, and would move into third at Turn 14 after Nagashima nearly highsided applying the throttle.

Binder once again stretched Marquez to get the lead up to over a second with five laps remaining, while Luthi tried to put pressure on the Marc VDS rider.

Marquez slashed half a second out of Binder on the following lap, but was resisted over the final few tours and eventually surrendered his charge.

Luthi got as close as six tenths to Marquez at one stage, but failed to apply much more pressure and would quickly fade on the final lap.

Binder went unchallenged to the chequered flag to secure his fourth win of the season, while Marquez was left to cruise to the world championship to become the first rider to win titles in Moto3 and Moto2.

Brad Binder, KTM Ajo, Alex Marquez, Marc VDS Racing, Thomas Luthi, Intact GP

Brad Binder, KTM Ajo, Alex Marquez, Marc VDS Racing, Thomas Luthi, Intact GP

Photo by: Srinivasa Krishnan

Luthi completed the podium on his Intact Kalex, with Vierge and Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro rounding out the top five.

MotoGP-bound Iker Lecuona was sixth on his American Team Kalex, with erstwhile championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons), Nagashima, Luthi’s teammate Marcel Schrotter and VR46’s Luca Marini completed the top 10.

Tricky track conditions in the high temperatures at Sepang led to a number of crashes, with the likes of Gresini’s Sam Lowes, Tech3’s Marco Bezzecchi, early podium contender Jorge Martin (KTM) and fellow rookie of the year contenders Fabio Di Giannantonio (Speed Up) and Enea Bastianini (Italtrans) all falling into retirement.

Race results:

Cla Rider Bike Gap
1 South Africa Brad Binder
2 Spain Alex Marquez
Kalex 00.758
3 Switzerland Thomas Luthi
Kalex 02.683
4 Spain Xavi Vierge
Kalex 06.646
5 Spain Jorge Navarro
Speed Up 07.114
6 Spain Iker Lecuona
KTM 08.582
7 Italy Lorenzo Baldassarri
Kalex 09.232
8 Japan Tetsuta Nagashima
Kalex 10.180
9 Germany Marcel Schrotter
Kalex 10.807
10 Italy Luca Marini
Kalex 14.585
11 Spain Augusto Fernandez
Kalex 16.521
12 Italy Nicolo Bulega
Kalex 22.333
13 Italy Mattia Pasini
Kalex 23.326
14 Australia Remy Gardner
Kalex 23.810
15 Switzerland Dominique Aegerter
MV 24.002
16 Italy Andrea Locatelli
Kalex 24.055
17 United Kingdom Jake Dixon
KTM 27.663
18 Indonesia Dimas Ekky Pratama
Kalex 29.455
19 United States Joe Roberts
KTM 30.896
20 Switzerland Jesko Raffin
NTS 37.044
21 Germany Philipp Ottl
KTM 50.548
22 Germany Lukas Tulovic
KTM 54.921
23 Andorra Xavi Cardelus
KTM 01'00.678
24 Italy Enea Bastianini
Kalex 1 Lap
United Kingdom Sam Lowes
Italy Marco Bezzecchi
Italy Stefano Manzi
Thailand Somkiat Chantra
Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio
Speed Up
Malaysia Adam Norrodin
Spain Jorge Martin
Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder
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