Sepang – World champion Marc Marquez won the Malaysian MotoGP on Sunday despite starting in seventh position after being hit with a grid penalty, surging past Valentino Rossi who crashed out of the lead.
Suzuki’s Alex Rins came in second after overtaking Yamaha rider Johann Zarco, who finished third, in the final stage of the race at Sepang.
Italian star Rossi finished a lacklustre 18th after tumbling off his bike in the 16th lap and losing the lead to Marquez, who was crowned world champion last month in Japan.
Nine-time world champion Rossi, second in the starting grid, looked to be heading for his first win in Malaysia since 2010 as he dominated the early stages of the race.
However Marquez, who qualified in pole position but was hit with a six-place grid penalty for impeding another rider, slowly worked his way through the pack, overtaking rival after rival.
The Spaniard reached the second position and was slowly closing the gap on Rossi, 39, when the Italian fell off his bike as he leaned into a corner.
He got up again and continued racing — but by that point victory had already slipped out of his grasp.
Marquez, 25, was totally dominant in the final stages of the race, and opened up a big gap with the rest of the field.