Starting in fourth position, Marquez rode a superb race to claim his second sprint success of the season after Silverstone in August, while Martin took two points back from Bagnaia to return to 11 lengths behind the leader. “Today (Saturday) I absolutely wanted to win. We have great pace here so even for tomorrow (Sunday) we have a chance for the Grand Prix. I didn't necessarily expect to be in front but I did everything perfectly so I'm very happy, especially since we had been in difficulty during the last races,” underlined Marquez.
The reigning world champion, who had snatched pole position from under Martin's nose, who had just fallen, late Saturday morning, failed to confirm in the afternoon in the Malaysian heat . “We needed to do our best and it wasn't enough to win today. I didn't have a good feeling on the bike,” said Bagnaia.
He even had to count on the kindness of his teammate and compatriot Enea Bastianini, who seemed more in rhythm but never attacked him, probably after receiving instructions from his Ducati team. “When you have nothing to gain, you have to protect your friend, your teammate, it’s normal,” confirmed Paolo Ciabatti, the sporting director of Ducati, at the microphone of Canal.
For once, Martin did not get an excellent start and quickly lost two places to find himself fourth behind Bagnaia, Marquez and Bastianini. Although he quickly overtook Bastianini, he was never able to fight for victory even if he managed to overtake Bagnaia a few seconds after Marquez. “It was a great race, the pace was incredible with a big fight. I didn't have a very good start and I tried to regain positions. I thought I could win but I'm happy with my second place, it's a good performance and we will have to repeat that tomorrow (Sunday),” explained the Madrilenian.