Fermin Aldeguer cruised to a second straight Moto2 victory at the Sepang International Circuit in commanding fashion, while Pedro Acosta secured the rider’s title with two races to spare.

Aldeguer lost the lead to Yamaha Master Camp’s Manuel Gonzalez off the start, though managed to level him through Turn 1. Aldeguer made contact with the Spaniard exiting the bend though which sent him to the floor while the Speed Up man regained the lead.

From this point on Aldeguer checked out from the rest of the field, pulling around a second a lap on Acosta in the opening laps to craft a solid advantage.

Having escaped penalty for his part in the incident with Ramirez, Aldeguer remained untroubled for the remainder of the encounter as he expertly preserved his rubber to take the chequered flag 6.5 seconds clear of Acosta to grab a third win of the season.

It would be Acosta who secured the ultimate prize by finishing second though, as with Marc VDS’ Tony Arbolino suffering a tough outing en route to 10th, Acosta’s runners-up result wrapped up the 2023 title with two races to spare as he extended his points gap over the Italian to an unassailable 79.

Acosta’s title came off the back of 14 rostrum results from the 18 races contested so far this season, including a total of seven victories to ensure he will step up to the GasGas MotoGP squad in 2024 as the reigning intermediate class champion.

The tussle for the final spot of the rostrum was more hotly contested, as American Racing’s Marcos Ramirez desperately tried to hang onto a maiden podium result ahead of a charging Ai Ogura in the closing laps.

Ramirez had held the spot right from the outset of the encounter, though had begun to run out of tire later on, allowing Ogura to close right in.

The Honda Team Asia racer – who took advantage of the craziness at Turn 1 on the first lap to move from 15th on the grid to sixth exiting the bend – pressed Ramirez as he tried to find a way through on the very final lap.

Ramirez was determined to finally stand on the rostrum though and held firm to secure third ahead of Ogura, while GasGas’ Jake Dixon snatched away fifth from the other Speed Up of Alonso Lopez on the final lap.

Having already dropped outside the top five, Lopez then crashed out just a few corners from home. This allowed the other Honda Team Asia entry of Somkiat Chantra to claim sixth ahead of MarcVDS’ Sam Lowes.

Joe Roberts was eighth for Italtrans ahead of KTM Ajo’s Albert Arenas, as Arbolino took advantage of Lopez’s problems to salvage a top-ten result despite his earlier mishap.

Several front runners failed to make the finish, including Aron Canet who challenged within the top five in the early laps. He dropped to 14th after serving a long-lap penalty for crashing under yellow flags in qualifying, but later crashed out while trying to recover positions.

His Pons team-mate Sergio Garcia also later went down while fighting within the top ten, while Fantic Racing’s Celestino Vietti fell victim to Turn 9 while running fourth.

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