2016 Sepang Moto3 Race Result: A Lesson In Damage, Control

Francesco Bagnaia won a chaotic, crash-marred race at the Sepang International Circuit Sunday to take his second win of the season. Bagnaia’s margin of victory, seven seconds, came after a total of 17 riders went down throughout contest which in the end, was red-flagged when rain started.

Jakub KornFeil grabbed second for the best finish of his career, seven seconds behind Bagnaia and just in front of third place Bo Bensneyder. The Dutch rider, a rookie in Moto3, grabbed his second podium of the season. Fabio Quartararosaw (4th) saw his challenge for a podium spot fall short when the race was red-flagged with three laps remaining.

Andrea Locatelli took fifth, just in front of Marcos Ramirez (6th). Gabriel Rodrigo (7th) just bested local hero Khairul Pawi (8th). Livio Loi survived a late-race collision with Maria Harrera to take 9th. Darin Binder completed the top 10.

The race started with a dry track but the first lap was hardly an indication of that. On Turn 2, Andrea Migno lost control of his KTM and collided with Juanfran Guevara. Both riders went down. Then at Turn 6, as Jorge Martin lost control of his bike and took out Nicolo Bulega, Tatsuki Suzuki, Aron Canet and Philipp Oettl.

Then at Turn 7, more chaos. Adam Norrodin went down at the corner followed by World Champion Brad Binder, Joan Mir, Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Fabio Di Giannantonio who slid from the course one after the other. This is when Bagnaia began building his lead. Both Binder and Dalla Porta rejoined the contest but had been lapped at that point. 


Pos. No. Rider Bike Time / Diff.
1 21 Francesco BAGNAIA Mahindra 29'29.351
2 84 Jakub KORNFEIL Honda 7.108
4 20 Fabio QUARTARARO KTM 8.469
5 55 Andrea LOCATELLI KTM 12.414
6 42 Marcos RAMIREZ Mahindra 12.706
7 19 Gabriel RODRIGO KTM 13.387
8 89 Khairul Idham PAWI Honda 13.506
9 11 Livio LOI Honda 14.445
10 40 Darryn BINDER Mahindra 38.777
11 38 Hafiq AZMI Peugeot 45.827
12 23 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 48.899
13 43 Stefano VALTULINI Mahindra 49.648
14 77 Lorenzo PETRARCA Mahindra 49.842
15 4 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Honda +1'15.163
16 48 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA KTM 1 Lap
17 41 Brad BINDER KTM 3 Laps
Not Classified      
  6 Maria HERRERA KTM 13.793
  95 Jules DANILO Honda 7 Laps
  9 Jorge NAVARRO Honda 8 Laps
  12 Albert ARENAS Peugeot 10 Laps
  36 Joan MIR KTM 11 Laps
  24 Tatsuki SUZUKI Mahindra 11 Laps
  16 Andrea MIGNO KTM 11 Laps
  8 Nicolo BULEGA KTM 12 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap    
  88 Jorge MARTIN Mahindra 0 Lap
  44 Aron CANET Honda 0 Lap
  65 Philipp OETTL KTM 0 Lap
  58 Juanfran GUEVARA KTM 0 Lap
  7 Adam NORRODIN Honda 0 Lap
  71 Ayumu SASAKI Honda 0 Lap


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Maria Herrera crashed into the slowing down Livio Loi in turn 15, just a few seconds after race leader Pecco Bagnaia had crossed the finish line and started his lap 15 (of 18 planned). Less than 30 seconds later the race was red flagged. Which means that a few of the riders behind Herrera (Darryn Binder, Azmi, Antonelli, etc.) had still not completed their lap 14.

So the final standings of the race are as of the completion of lap 13, where Maria Herrera was ranked in 9th position, with 13.793 seconds behind the race leader. That should have earned her a career-best 9th place in the results, and 7 world championship points, doubling her amount so far this year. Which would also mean an improvement in the championship standings from place 31 to 28.

Which means that the results/championship standings on the TV/live stream, on the motogp.com website (as of the time I am writing this) and therefore on this article are missing that fact. You can verify this by looking at the lap chart or the analysis by lap.

I was watching the whole Sepang event live as many of you were. Following, the first horrific multiple pile up, I figured Red Flag, restart. Not to be. After the 2nd multiple, synchronised washouts by the leading pack on what was clearly oil, one had to figure a Red Flag, 20 minute delay and restart. Not to be. One wonders if this is not a direct result of TV time schedules taking prescedence over the actual racing. Sort of like FI radio telemetry to the driver's. .... Corporate media directing race direction.

Anyway, great ride by Peco Bagnaia. It was a seriously tough challenge and he handled it briliantly on a superbly handling Mahindra. Credit to them and Dunlop.


If a rider causes a red flag I thought they were automatically DQ'd. That would explain Herrera's situation

I believe the red flag was brought out due to rain, not the crash. I too was confused that the placings were not taken back to the previous lap.

Looks like the rider causing red flag were disqed. Bensnyder were moved down, but Herrera remain outside the list.
But then I have to ask why the red flaged there when there was two huge pileups with injured riders in the start, and this was not at all a critical situation. 
My theory is that the they got critique for not red flagging got to them and the had to make it "right".

Per Crash.net's live commentary, while waiting for Dorna's official announcement:
"We have confirmation that the race was stopped because of Herrera's fall."
Which brings a question of importance against the organizers: why is it that THREE multiple-bikes crashes are ignored, while a SINGLE solo crash is red flagged? And no, it's not even rained yet at the time of the red flag. I can only think that the Moto3 race was not seen as being important enough to be worried about, especially when minding the time limit. Herrera's crash was at over two thirds of race distance, which gave them an excuse to stop the race. The three pileups though? "No, let's not waste any time stopping it!" We're so lucky that no lives were lost today, it was truly, truly close...

It has been a very challenging 12 months for Race Direction in Motogp and they have managed it extremely well. But this time, I don't know. After the second set of crashes it looked a lot like there must be oil or similar on the track & there were certainly riders & bikes spread all over.