Round 18

Malaysia Track Report

November 04, 2019

What was the strategy for the Sepang race?

The strategy was to try to start well and then to be with the front group, the start was critical after Marc [Márquez] had his hard crash in Q2 and started from 11th. Our goal was to, as usual, try to fight for victory or the podium if that wasn't possible. Marc was able to make one of his best ever starts and had an incredible first lap, then he tried to follow Viñales. Unfortunately, he lost time fighting with Miller and the gap to Viñales was just a little too big. The plan was to try and repeat what he did in Phillip Island, but the competition were ready for it.

Positive points and negative points after the race?

The positive was that we achieved another podium and are just two points behind Ducati in the Team Championship. Our goal in Valencia will be to get the Triple Crown and Marc has had an incredible season with the MotoGP points record already after this race.

Unfortunately, the negative this weekend is that we sadly lost Afridza Mundanar from Indonesia on Saturday while he was riding in the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup. He was a good rider and a great guy. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and all of Astra Honda and his Asia Talent Cup colleagues that met and worked with him.

The view from pit wall during the race?

Today was not a big show. The race start and the opening laps were good with a lot of overtaking – very exciting.

Inside story apart from official comments?

Each year the Malaysian GP becomes more and more important for us. The Asian market is very important and we have many Honda fans here. We are happy our riders can help the fans to make this MotoGP experience possible and something memorable. We were joined this weekend by many senior figures from Honda in Southeast Asia, we met them with the riders before the race in the garage and it was a very nice experience for all of us.