2018 Sepang Moto2 & Moto3 Preview Press Releases

Previews of the Malaysian Grand Prix from some of the Moto2 and Moto3 teams:


Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Monday 29th October

Circuit: Sepang International Circuit

Circuit Length: 5.5 km

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider Niki Tuuli will return to action this coming weekend, following a crash at Philip Island that saw the 23-year-old withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix.

Hit by a fellow rider after crashing in Saturday’s Moto2 FP3 session, Tuuli was lucky to escape without serious injury, however with little track time and still in significant pain, the team chose to withdraw the Finn from Sunday’s race. The decision was made in order to allow Tuuli time to rest and recuperate fully, ahead of the teams Home Grand Prix.

#66 Niki Tuuli

“I was so disappointed to miss the race at Philip Island. The crash I had in FP3 was actually pretty small; I just hit a wet patch in the slowest part of the track and lost the front, but unfortunately the rider behind crashed into me and hit my lower back. I’m relieved that nothing is broken but the pain after was quite intense. We decided that it was better for me to withdraw from the race in Australia to make sure that I am ready for the teams home race in Malaysia. I need to give my all at Sepang and have a really good weekend, both for the team and myself. I just hope that I am 100% fit on Friday. I’m going to do my best to be in top form. I can’t wait to get back out there and push for a good result.”


Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Monday 29th October

Circuit: Sepang International Circuit

Circuit Length: 5.5 km

As the MotoGP paddock head to Malaysia for the penultimate round of the 2018 Championship, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing gear up for the teams’ and rider Adam Norrodin’s home Grand Prix.

Following an exhilarating Moto3 race at Philip Island that saw Ayumu Sasaki relentlessly fighting at the front and Adam Norrodin catapult into the leading battle on the final lap, the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Team are fired up and ready to put on a show in front of their home crowd.


“I’m really excited for my home Grand Prix. It gives me extra motivation seeing all of my family and the fans who are supporting us - I’m very happy to be back in Malaysia. The atmosphere is always amazing.

It was good to finish 7th in Australia and I’m happy to have this positive result ahead of my home race. Now I want to improve on this and really do well here. Last year I had a strong weekend and a good pace, so I’m going to do all that I can to do even better this year. I want to bring everything together – all the progress and the hard work and really show what we can do.”


“In Australia we had an amazing bike and the pace to be on the podium, but I made a mistake on the last lap, which I was very disappointed and frustrated with myself about. Now I see Sepang as another chance. I want to make a really good race this weekend in front of the team’s home crowd and our title sponsor PETRONAS. I feel very excited and confident about this next race. We had a great test here at the beginning of the season and now we are so much stronger and are more than capable of fighting at the front. I would love to get my first Moto3 podium at Sepang – I am going to give it everything I have.”


After the bittersweet Sunday at Phillip Island, the two teammates of the Leopard Racing Team are ready to face the last stage of the triple Asian trip.

The MotoGP calendar prepares to complete the Asian rounds landing in Malaysia for the eighteenth round of the 2018 season. The event will take place at the Sepang International Circuit, which since 1999 has uninterruptedly hosted the Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix and runs up for 5,5 km with three long straights between 5 left hand turns and 10 to the right.

The Leopard Racing team is determined to end the season at their best, as having collected less than they deserved in the previous Australian round. The two drivers Enea Bastianini & Lorenzo Dalla Porta currently occupy the fourth and fifth place in the world rankings, with 150 and 131 points respectively.

In these last two races in the category, Bestia can set the record for the podiums of the Moto3 class; the Tuscan talent, performer of a great comeback in the first part of the Phillip Island’s race, can confirm all his potential in the curves and straights of the Malaysian track.


Albert Arenas hopes to continue reaping the fruit of a season’s hard work after his win in Australia

The Moto3 World Championship looks ever more certain to head to the final round of the season in Valencia but Jorge Martín gets his first mathematical chance to wrap things up in Malaysia this weekend, with a twelve-point advantage over Marco Bezzecchi and his teammate Fabio di Giannantonio twenty behind. It means that Martín can secure the title by scoring thirteen more points than Bezzecchi and five more than Di Giannantonio, at a circuit where he finished second last year in a race that saw Di Giannantonio take ninth and Bezzecchi nineteenth.

The Ángel Nieto Team head Malaysia in high spirits after a resounding win for Albert Arenas in the Australian Grand Prix that has lifted him to ninth in the championship. It is the first time the Spaniard has broken into the top ten in the standings this season and he is looking to make up more positions in Malaysia as he continues to reap the fruit of a season’s hard working along with his team. Meanwhile, Andrea Migno travels to Malaysia on the back of a thirteenth-place finish at Phillip Island and he is also hoping to continue with his progress in the last two races of the season, after showing his undoubted potential at the start of the year.

Albert Arenas: “In Malaysia we will try to keep on this line of work that we have been on, especially in practice, because that is what gives me the confidence for the race. We are lacking a little speed to get on the front two rows of the grid but that doesn’t worry me too much because if your race pace is good you can be up there when it counts. We will work hard to iron out the little details and keep enjoying every race.”

Andrea Migno: “Hopefully I can enjoy myself on the bike in Malaysia as much as I did in Australia. Sepang is one of my favourite circuits, I have felt good there over the past three seasons. My feeling with the bike is good at the moment so hopefully we can go there and show the level we showed at the start of the season.”

Mir and Marquez ready for final overseas showdown in sizzling Sepang

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS embark on the third and final leg of the gruelling flyaway triple header this weekend when Joan Mir and Alex Marquez do battle in the penultimate podium of 2018 in the tropical heat of Malaysia.

The Moto2 World Championship is drawing to an exciting climax and this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit gives Joan Mir and Alex Marquez the chance to stake a claim for the podium again.

A brilliant victory charge from Joan Mir in Phillip Island last weekend means he arrives back in South East Asia brimming with confidence, as second in Australia moved him to within three-points of Lorenzo Baldassarri in the fight for fourth in the overall rankings.

Mir’s last experience of Sepang was an incredibly fruitful one. He fended off the determined challenge of Jorge Martin and Enea Bastianini to claim an 11th career win in Moto3 one year ago, which set a record for the most number of wins in the 250cc single-cylinder four-stroke category.

Alex Marquez is hoping to be back in peak physical condition this weekend after heavy pre-race crashes in both Japan and Australia hindered his bid to claim a first podium since the Dutch TT in Assen.

He finished less than four seconds off the win in Phillip Island in seventh, but has vowed to go all-out to register his first podium finish in Sepang after a couple of near misses earlier in his career. He was fourth in a pulsating Moto3 race in 2013 and missed the podium by just under 0.4s and in another epic fight in 2014 he was just 0.5s outside of the top three in fifth.

Moto2 practice in Malaysia commences at 9:55am local time on Friday morning and the penultimate race of 2018 is due to start at 13:20pm on Sunday.

Joan Mir: 5th in the overall standings on 149 points

“My confidence is very high after the Phillip Island podium"

“Malaysia is a country and circuit that I like a lot and I’m excited to race next weekend after the podium in Australia. The big challenge is the heat. I like hot conditions but only when I am at the beach, but I like the track and normally I am competitive but we can’t forget I’ve not raced on this track in Moto2 before. I hope I am as competitive in Moto2 as I was before in Moto3 but my confidence is very high after the good performance in Phillip Island.

Alex Marquez: 6th in the overall standings on 148 points

“I am optimistic about being competitive in Sepang”

“Malaysia is always a difficult challenge because of the hot conditions but I like to race at Sepang because it is a fast and wide layout. We have a good package to go there and be optimistic about being competitive. I am 100% motivated to be fast and to do the best possible to end the flyaways with a positive result.

Malaysia rounds off flyaways for Aron Canet and Alonso Lopez

Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 riders move on to Sepang International Circuit looking to build on to the results achieved in the last GP of Australia.

Aron Canet and Alonso Lopez take part in the final flyaway race of the season this weekend, rounding off a hectic schedule of rounds in Asia and Oceania. The Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders will ride at the humid Sepang International Circuit, in the 2018 edition of the Malaysian GP.

Aron Canet took sixth place in the most recent race, held in Australia, and managed to lead a large group of a dozen riders at the front of the field. Finally, the slipstream lottery relegated him to sixth position. Last year at Sepang, Canet was the fastest rider in FP2 and finished the race iself in eighth. The Estrella Galicia 0,0 man is currently sixth in the World Championship with 128 points.

Alonso Lopez has never been to Sepang before. He will have to adapt to the long, wide circuit as soon as possible, in the hope of a positive result on Sunday. Lopez is 22nd in the overall standings with 36 points.

The Estrella Galicia 0,0 duo will take to the track on Friday at 9am local time - for the first Free Practice session. The race is scheduled for Sunday at 12m.

Aron Canet

6th in the overall standings with 128 points

"The race is sure to be tough, but we will continue fighting"

"I come to Malaysia motivated, although I would have liked to have had a more relaxed race in Australia. We know that we will suffer with the heat in Malaysia, like every year, but I will try to hydrate as well as possible. The circuit is tricky, with heavy braking and acceleration. The race is sure to be tough, but we will continue fighting. I don't have great memories of Sepang, since in my first year I broke my hand there and last year I could only finish eighth in the race."

Alonso López

22nd in the overall standings with 36 points

"Although we know it will be very hot, we will try to do our best"

"Although I have never ridden at Sepang, the circuit seems very attractive to me at first glance, although the long straights and wide corners will make things tough. Even so, I'm looking forward to riding there, learning a new track and continuing to gain experience for next season. Although we know it will be very hot during the race, we will try to do our best."


Stefano Manzi will not take part in the Malaysian Grand Prix scheduled from 2 to 4 November at the Sepang circuit.

The decision was taken following the result of the MRI that Manzi underwent on Monday morning at The Avenue Radiology & MRI Hospital in Melbourne, where a fracture of his left wrist was found.

The rider from Rimini has therefore returned to Italy to be treated at the best and to be ready to be back on track in Valencia for the last round of the season.

Rafid Topan Sucipto, 24 years old from Indonesia, with his eighteen appearances in the Moto2 World Championship, will be in charge of replacing Manzi for the Malaysian racing weekend.

Topan has won several victories in his career: two Novice titles in the Indonesian national championship in 2007 and 2008, the Expert title in 2009, while in 2011 he won the Underbone title of the PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship.

At the end of 2012 he made his debut in the Moto2 Championship, replacing a rider in the Valencia GP and the following year he was given a seat for the entire season in the same category.

He also participated in the CEV Superstock 600 European Championship, where, on his debut at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, he was the winner in both races for his category.

The Team Forward warmly welcomes Topan and wishes him all the best for the three days of racing in Sepang.

Pratama to step in for Bendsneyder in Malaysia

Dimas Ekky Pratama is set to replace Tech3 Racing team’s Bo Bendsneyder this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit. Following his accident during the last lap of the Japanese Grand Prix, Bendsneyder is currently recovering at home. The entire Tech3 Racing team hopes to welcome him back in the garage as soon as possible.

Meanwhile,Pratama will take over his Mistral 610 for the upcoming Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix. The talented Indonesian rider knows the circuit very well after he already competed here one year ago. Other than that, Pratama is riding in the 2018 FIM CEV Moto2 European Championship and will enter the Moto2 World Championship full time in 2019.

Dimas Ekky Pratama

“First of all, thank you to Tech3 for the trust and for giving me the opportunity to race at the Malaysian GP as a replacement rider. This is a great challenge and also can be a moment for testing my readiness before entering full time in 2019. I will use it to strengthen my mentality and try to learn how to deal with the pressure of Moto2 Grand Prix racing. I will also have the great chance to learn how to communicate and cooperate within a team like Tech3 Racing, that has a lot of GP experience.”

Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team chase second victory in Malaysia

Oliveira and Binder will try to repeat last season's Sepang 1-2 and continue in the fight for the rider and team titles.

10/31/2018 - Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

The Moto2 World Championship reaches its penultimate round this weekend, as the series concludes the three-race flyaway stint with the Malaysian GP. Red Bull KTM Ajo currently lead the way in the team standings, and rider Miguel Oliveira is still in contention for the rider title. The team are hoping to repeat the great result from last year in Sepang, when Oliveira and Brad Binder occupied the top two spots.

Oliveira is 36 points behind the current Moto2 World Championship leader. His goal this weekend will be to continue cutting the gap and extend the title race until the last Grand Prix of the year in Valencia. The Portuguese has won at Sepang on two previous occasions: In 2015 in Moto3 and in Moto2 last season.

Binder arrives in Malaysia buoyed by a victory in Australia -his third triumph this season. The South African continues to improve race after race, and has already settled into third place in the standings behind his teammate. Along with Oliveira, Binder will try to bring as many points as possible to Red Bull KTM Ajo, who lead the Team World Championship by 35 points and could seal the title on Sunday.

The race will start at 1:20pm local time -6:20am CET. As happened at Phillip Island, on Friday and Saturday the Moto2 practice sessions will be held just after the Moto3 sessions and before MotoGP.


"After the race last Sunday we have to recover and keep a cool head, because we are still in the fight for the title with two races to go and this is the most important thing -we have to go for it. Last year in Malaysia we took the victory -we also did so in Moto3 in 2015- so we must keep calm and work as we know how in order to make the most of our capabilities. I love this track and Valencia. I think that the team, the bike and I have enough potential to get a great result from these last two rounds, so we will go for it."


"We got our third victory of the year in Australia, which is spectacular; the team did a great job. We come to Malaysia with the aim of repeating the feeling from Phillip Island, because the bike worked really well there; we played around a lot with the setup and found an incredible one for the race. In addition, the Sepang International Circuit has always been very good for me in past seasons, and last year I took a podium in Moto2. I hope to stay at the top and we will do our best to achieve that. I hope to finish off the season with two great results."

Darryn Binder out for another good result from flyaway finale

Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider looks to end three consecutive weeks of action with positive result.

10/31/2018 - Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

Darryn Binder arrives at the penultimate Grand Prix of the season this weekend, the Malaysian GP, with great confidence after having put in his best performances of the season over the past fortnight. After a great showing in Thailand from which he ultimately came away emptyhanded, the South African achieved his first World Championship podium in Japan and debuted on the front row of the grid in Australia, where he completed the weekend with a brilliant race -fighting for victory amongst a packed front group.

The Sepang International Circuit will be the last stop of the triple flyaways, before the season's last round in Valencia. Despite not finishing the race last season, the Malaysian track holds a good memory for Binder, who finished the 2016 race in the Top 10 after a great comeback, starting from the tenth row of the grid. The main challenge for the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider this weekend will be the heat and humidity usually experienced at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team have a strong Sepang pedigree in the Moto3 class, with a total of 3 wins and 2 further podiums. Among these results, current Moto2 stars Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder were both on the rostrum (1-2) in the 2015 season.

The race, held at the Sepang International Circuit, will start on Sunday at 12pm local time and will be held over 17 laps.


"We come into this last race outside of Europe having had a very good weekend in Australia; we just missed out on an even better result on a last lap in which anything could happen. I really like the Sepang International Circuit. It's not that I've achieved great results in the past there, but that doesn't matter, because with the setup that we have found and all the positive input from these last two races we are in strong shape. I am sure that this weekend we will continue to be so, and keep extending this good run of results. I have a desire for more."


It's already time to be back on track for the Forward Racing Team in view of the last round oversea at Sepang, Malaysia.

As already announced, the team is presenting a new entry, in the box for this weekend: the Indonesian Rafid Topan Sucipto, class 1994, who will take the place of Stefano Manzi, returned to Italy to treat the injury to his left wrist. The team will work to allow to Topan to have a positive weekend, on a challenging track, but that the rider knows very well.

On the other side of the box Isaac Viñales is back on track after the unlucky Australian stage, where he suffered an injury to his right shoulder: the Spaniard has undergone all the necessary medical treatment, and Friday will be on track to test his condition.

The first day of racing will then start with the FP1s in the morning at 2:55, 9:55 local time, followed by the FP2s in the Malaysian afternoon at 7:05, 14:05 local time.

Rafid Topan Sucipto - Rider

"I am very proud to represent Indonesia and have the chance to race in Moto2 with the prestigious Forward Racing Team. I'm excited and I can't wait be on track on Friday. I thank for the support and trust the Team Owner Giovanni Cuzari and MV Agusta Indonesia who have worked together to give me this great opportunity".

Isaac Viñales - Rider

"The Sepang circuit is a track that I've always liked a lot, on which I've always raced pretty fast. The shoulder pain has decreased considerably, thanks to the treatments I have done and am continuing to do: I can't wait to get back on Friday to test my condition, with the hope of spending a good weekend".

Giovanni Cuzari - Team Owner

"We are very sorry for Stefano, but at the same time we believe that returning to Italy to take care of himself was the best choice we could make, so that he can be better prepared for the last round of the season in Valencia and for the subsequent tests in preparation for 2019. Topan will be responsible for replacing Stefano: it will certainly not be easy for him to adapt quickly to a bike he has never ridden before, on a demanding track like Sepang. We welcome Rafid warmly and we believe that it is right to give a chance to local riders like him, in a country that is very important for the two-wheeler industry. We will certainly do our best to make him feel at ease right away and allow him to spend a weekend of racing in the best possible conditions.

As far as Isaac is concerned, we hope that the rest of these days, together with the treatments he has undergone, can be used to make up for the shoulder injury he suffered in Australia, so that he can finally demonstrate his potential with this bike, but above all to spend a weekend without setbacks".


Great expectations for Bagnaia who arrives in Sepang with a advantage of 36 points in the standings. Ready to stay in the group of the strongest guys also Marini in Moto2 and Foggia with Vietti Ramus in Moto3.

Sepang (Malaysia), November 1st 2018 - It will be a really challenging weekend for the young riders of the Sky Racing Team VR46 at the Sepang circuit where this week is hosted the Malaysian GP, the penultimate race of the 2018 season.

In Moto2, Francesco Bagnaia arrives at this event, after the difficult epilogue at the Australian GP, motivated to back to fight in the leading group for the top positions. Pecco will be at the start of the race with 36 points ahead of Miguel Oliveira, his direct opponent for the Championship. Great expectations also for Luca Marini who ended up positively at Phillip Island with a beautiful Top5.

In Moto3, Dennis Foggia and Celestino Vietti Ramus, who were protagonists in the decisive stages of the Australian race, will discover for the first time the particular layout of the Malaysian track and the very high temperatures that characterize it. Celestino, who achieved the first podium of his young career last Sunday, will replace Nicolò Bulega, convalescing after the surgery on his right hand.

PABLO NIETO - Team Manager

In Australia we have closed a crucial GP for the whole Team: in Moto2, Pecco has faced one of the most difficult weekends of the season, but I'm sure he will back to race with the first guys since Malaysian GP where he arrives a good gap in the Championship. Luca has done a great job and is ready to fight with the strongest riders too. In Moto3, Dennis proved once again to be one of the most competitive: he made an important step forward. Celestino will race with us also in this race and after the podium in Australia I guess he is looking forward to getting back on the bike.

Pecco Bagnaia

Sepang is absolutely one of my favorite tracks: it is difficult to interpret - considering the temperatures - and the layout is tough too. We arrive there after a difficult GP for us, where we have struggled to find the sensations we were looking for and keep pace, but we have closed the weekend and managed the gap in the standings. We have to stay focused and work to get back with the first guys.

Luca Marini

Being strong at Phillip Island gave me a special taste because I had always struggled there. Now we expect a totally different weather with high temperatures, heat and humidity on a fascinating circuit characterized by a nice riding part and strong brakings.

Dennis Foggia

I can not wait to get back on track to forget the epilogue of the race in Australia. We were really fast, we did a great job and the feeling with the bike was good. We have to start from here: learn to manage heat and humidity. The fast corners can well suited on my riding style.

Celestino Vietti Ramus

I do not think I have realized yet what happened on Sunday: it was a dream! But now it will be important not to lose concentration, but continue to work hard to make as much experience as possible also in this race. A very different climate awaits us, compared to Australia, and a very particular track.

Malaysia Grand Prix: Preview

On the occasion of the third and last triple-header race, this weekend, at Sepang International circuit, the Marinelli Snipers team triples the commitment by doubling the presence in Moto3. Makar Yurchenko, teammate of Tony Arbolino with the Snipers in 2019, will participate, as wild card, in Malaysia Grand Prix. This participation has been possible thanks to the support of Sokol race track that completely supported the initiative. Makar will be assisted by our CEV technical staff but he will have leather and livery totally Sokol customized. It will be an important test bench for Makar who will come on track, for the first time, on the Malaysian circuit, riding a Moto3 Honda. Tony Arbolino, who fought hard in Australia hunting for the podium, wants to redeem himself after the crash that interrupted his race 2 laps to the end. Tony is living an important professional growth; he has a shot, just needs to hit the target. Xavi Cardelus, after the crash in the warm up at Phillip Island, has still to manage some physical consequences.

Tony Arbolino: "We are ready for the last extra European race, before coming back home and, after Australia, we want to do well. I really like Sepang, it has different features compared to Phillip Island, it is for sure a less technical circuit, achievable by many riders. I believe in it and I am ready to give my best!

Xavi Cardelús: "The most important thing for the Sepang race weekend is to be physically good. After the crash in Phillip Island warm up, my left ankle and right hand finger are still hurting but, in these days, I am doing the best to improve. The physical resistance will be very important here due to high temperatures and humidity level, in addition to the adapting processing on a track I see for the first time. By the way, the morale is still high and I face Malaysia ready to do well and forget quickly Australia's bad luck".

Makar Yurchenko: "I am ready for this wild card in Malaysia with the Marinelli Snipers team. It will be my first time on this track and my first time with Honda. I won't be easy but I will give 100%. I trust the team and I am feeling strong. I would like also to thank Sokol Race track for supporting my participation here and for giving me this amazing experience".

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