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MALAYSIA12.02.2014

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By taking the chequered flag in third place at Sepang, Oliveira offered the Moto3 Mahindra their first Grand Prix podium. Lady Luck was not with Bradl, who broke an ankle during the practice test sessions.

MotoGP Malaysia

MALAYThe Races
Despite a terrible start, Miguel Oliveira never lost courage. Overtaking his opponents one after another, lap after lap, the Portuguese rider managed to climb back to third place and take his first podium of the season. Mahindra have had that privilege before. ‘It’s the best reward the team has had for their work since the start of the year,” Oliveira grinned after the Malaysian Grand Prix. “I had to brake hard a lot of the time because our machine still lacks power compared with the KTM. I took risks, but they produced results.” Victim of a fall, Efren Vazquez was unable to make it to the finish after qualifying for eighth position on the grid. In Moto2, Redding and Kallio lost time at turn one after a collision caused by Aegerter. The Finn managed to climb back to fourth place, but the championship leader had to settle for seventh place at the chequered flag. MotoGP Bradl was forced to withdraw after he was injured during the practice test sessions.

The Championship
Failing to make the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix, Bradl has lost one place in the MotoGP standings and now finds himself in seventh position, one point away from Bautista. In Moto2, Redding remains the leader but is no more than nine points ahead of Espargaro. Kallio stays in fourth position but lost ground to Rabat, who won at Sepang. Sixth in the Moto3 championship, Oliveira is only six points away from Folger. Vazquez finds himself in the ninth position with only three races left to go.

The Background
It was a real blow for the Honda LCR team who thought the overseas tour would provide their German rider with an occasion to achieve a new exploit. Unfortunately for them all, Stefan Bradl was injured in the final free practice session of the Malaysian Grand Prix, just before the qualifying session. It was a minor fall, but it has had serious consequences. “Stefan lost the front when braking for the first corner,” explained Christophe Bourguignon, technical director of the LCR Honda team. “It wasn’t a heavy crash, but as he slid towards the outside, his right foot caught on the plastic grass placed behind the track. His ankle twisted and his medial malleolus was fractured. The safety committee will have to address this issue because this type of coating has already caused quite a few problems. When it rains, the synthetic grass turns into black ice, and even when it’s dry it can be dangerous. We all remember the accident that killed Tomisawa on the Misano circuit.” After the operation performed the same evening in Kuala Lumpur, Bradl hopes to ride again in Australia, but it is more likely that he’ll be back behind the handle bar of his Honda in Japan.

12.02.2014

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