Enea Bastianini put in an assured performance at the Sepang International Circuit to secure his first MotoGP win of 2023, while Francesco Bagnaia extended his points advantage over Jorge Martin.

Bastianini made another good start from third on the grid to challenge the leaders into Turn 1, his job made easier as Martin tried to dive through on pole-man Bagnaia on entry to the bend.  

The Spaniard ran both wide though, which allowed Bastianini and Saturday sprint winner Alex Marquez to slide through, with Bagnaia and Martin slotting into third and fifth respectively.

From then on Bastianini controlled proceedings in a commanding fashion out in front, the factory Ducati rider sustaining a strong pace while also preserving his Michelin rubber.

His lead flip-flopped between one to two seconds over Marquez throughout the encounter, Bastianini ultimately taking the chequered flag 1.5 seconds clear of the Gresini ace to secure his first victory of the season.

While unable to challenge Bastianini for the leadership, Marquez was at least able to hold off any attack from Bagnaia to complete a strong weekend in second.

Bagnaia’s run to third ensured his points lead extended out to 14 with two events remaining, the reigning premier class world champion leaving Malaysia a further point clear of Martin than he arrived as Martin could only manage fourth.

Martin meanwhile had to settle a decent way behind the podium battle after struggling for grip across the second half of the race. He tried to pass Bagnaia on a few occasions early on, but eventually began to fall away.

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo enjoyed a much stronger Sunday than he had in Saturday’s sprint as he completed the top five, the Frenchman looking after the rubber on his M1 to recover several positions in the latter stages.

VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi claimed sixth ahead of the other Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli, the Italian passing KTM’s Jack Miller at the death to secure seventh.

This left the Aussie eighth ahead of the second Gresini entry of Fabio Di Gianantonio, while Luca Marini rounded off the top ten on the sister VR46 Ducati.

Maverick Vinales completed a tough weekend for Aprilia in 11th ahead of Pramac’s Johann Zarco, while Marc Marquez was the best-placed Honda in a distant 13th.

Alvaro Bautista continued to struggle for form on the extra factory Ducati entered this weekend, the reigning World Superbike champion coming home as the last man who failed to crash in 17th, with only Takaaki Nakagami behind in 18th after the LCR man went down at Turn 9 late on.

Brad Binder failed to mount a charge for the rostrum due to a bad start that left him down in tenth early on, before later crashing from ninth at Turn 11. Aprilia’s tricky Malaysian event was illustrated by Aleix Espargaro crashing out from 13th just before mid-distance, while both RNF Aprilia’s also failed to make the chequered flag.

Joan Mir meanwhile also ended his day early, after the factory Honda pilot crashed out in the opening stanza of the contest.

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