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MotoGP, Sepang GP: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Dovizioso matches Marquez in terms of wins and keeps the championship alive. Morbidelli celebrates Italy's first Moto2 title

MotoGP: Sepang GP: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Six-all. It's not a football result though, but the number of race wins scored by Dovizioso and Marquez thus far. Andrea continues to amaze, keeping alive a championship that had looked to be as good as over. Like Bruce Banner, he turns into Hulk (red and not green of course) as soon as the lights go out. He has one last shot at Valencia, but his hand is steady and hope is not yet lost.

Malaysia brought celebrations for Franco Morbidelli, the Brazilian from Tavullia who brings Italy its first title in many years. 'Morbido' can now move up to MotoGP with the champion's badge on his leathers.

What else? Mapping that isn't mapping, Japanese disaster in the wet and a Zarco who confirms his place among the top guys. We'd say that's quite enough for one weekend.

THE GOOD – This samba-loving, piadina-eating and caipirinha-drinking Brazilian-Italian rider is crowned Moto2 champion to become a hero in both countries. Morbidelli measures his words but doesn't hold back on the throttle, waving the flag for Italy and scoring its first win in years . There is nothing to say about his season - simply impeccable. Hats off to him.

THE UGLY –  The used Tech3 bike works better than the factory team's latest model and this is not a good claim for Yamaha. The cold shower at Sepang wakes Vinales and Valentino from their Phillip Island dreams, while Rossi has doubts about the Michelin tyres. 2018 is fast approaching the compass is not yet pointing in the right direction. The Japanese engineers have a lot of homework to do.

THE BAD – We can be sure that in the coming days the most famous map is not that of Google but rather number 8. There's nothing really bad about it, as he didn't hide the team orders and, looking at the time, Lorenzo didn't make Dovi's life easy. A lot will be said about it, but all's well that ends well.

THE DISAPPOINTMENT – From Australian riches to Malaysian rags. Suzuki lost its way through the Sepang corners as soon as rain fell. The same can be said of its Yamaha cousins, the doubts about the Michelins included. Misery loves company.

THE CONFIRMATION  – Never underestimate Dovi. In addition to the Ducati's (massive) horsepower, there is also Andrea himself, who powers the Desmosedici to its sixth win of the season. In two weeks' there's Valencia, where they will need a miracle but there are no limits for the successful Dovizioso-Ducati pairing.

THE MISTAKE – Sam Lowes didn't want to lose the prize for crashing to Marquez . The Spaniard was on contention but the Brit beat him to it, crashing in warm-up and twice in the race. He now leads, with 29 to 25. And the Aprilia spare parts technicians applaud.

THE SURPRISE – … is that Zarco is now strong in the wet. He may not excite in front of the microphone, but the Frenchman is doing his job very well. He's not just the best rookie of the year but also the fastest satellite rider, a title that doesn't come with a prize but that offers certain assurances.

THE PASS – the many executed by Petrucci, who found himself at the back of the grid after his Ducati let him down on the sighting lap. Rain appeared to turbo-charge his engine, though the rider appeared less than pleased with his 6th place finish.

THE INTERESTING FACT – It's not the first time that a rider wins the title before the final round. It happened yesterday for Morbidelli, as a result of Luthi's retirement and also in 2015 for Zarco, when Rabat waved the white flag after free practice in the Japanese GP.

I TOLD YOU SO – Hervé Pocharal an hour before the race: “it's going to rain, it will be hard for Zarco”. The Tech3 owner has never been so happy to be proved wrong.

Translated by Heather Watson

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