The 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang is already in motion with the riders undertaking press duties on Thursday and putting their bikes on track during Friday practice with conditions rapidly changing from sunshine to rain to cloud and more. This a typical day in this part of Asia as the humidity reaches an absolute high. In terms of the World Championship, the tactics have been clear from the start since Phillip Island for Marquez and that is to take a more subtle and patient approach rather than risking it all for glory. However, the opposite exists for Andrea Dovizioso whom will go out giving it everything he has in the Ducati toolbox. Marquez: “We have an advantage but it is not enough. We must be patient and try to push in the practices to the maximum to prepare for the race. If I need to fight, I will”.

Marquez is aware that it will be a very tough weekend. “Here in the past, I have had some ups and downs”. In the pre-season test, Repsol Honda did a lot of laps at the Sepang circuit so they know it well. With that said, the changing conditions can throw a rider off and it takes just one poor decision to make a dent in the progress of the weekend. Andrea Dovizioso is upbeat even after the disaster result at Phillip Island. “After a bad result in Phillip Island, I went to Langkawi for three days, and I enjoyed the weather and the beach to be ready for this weekend”. DesmoDovi took time out to refresh his mind, body and mental focus for the third weekend of racing back to back. He is willing to try everything and does not yet think the World Championship is over. Dovi is adamant he can keep fighting! In the pre-season test, Ducati were very strong at Sepang and in FP1, Dovi topped the time sheets indicating his ability to keep chasing and never give up. Andrea put in a time of 2’00.671 and a fast straight-line speed of at least 326km/h. This is a solid start for the Italian rider although we know that Johann Zarco, Valentino Rossi, Maverick Vinales, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa will be pushing both title contenders to the ultimate limits of their physicality and mental strength. Just because they are going for the title does not mean they will give away a race win or podium easily! Right now, Dovi’s goal is simple: win the 2017 Malaysian MotoGP race!

In terms of the rest of the grid, Phillip Island has been the talk of the town as to the aggressive racing and battles that we witnessed last weekend. It was a treat not only for the riders also the fans who tuned in around the world and also watched live trackside in Australia. The riders are aiming for a similar if not exact style of racing here in Sepang. Rossi: “It was a great pleasure to fight in that race at Phillip Island, it was very fun. And it was an important result, especially for me after injury, and for the team”. Rossi looks to be back at full fitness and has a smile on his face as Morbidelli goes for the title that is a part of the VR46 academy and also the fact that he could be the thorn that gets stuck in to the side of many riders aiming for success this weekend. Rossi is a force in Malaysia and the fans go wild for him here. They are truly passionate in every way shape or form. As we get closer to qualifying and race day, wait for the drama to unfold!

Credit: Deborah Wedes, Myanna Wedes & Sienna Wedes

Credit: Deborah Wedes, Myanna Wedes & Sienna Wedes

Credit: Deborah Wedes, Myanna Wedes & Sienna Wedes

About The Author

Patrick Wedes

Patrick Wedes has 25 years of media experience in both 500cc Grand Prix, MotoGP and Formula 1. He has an extensive background in publishing, PR, entertainment and photography. He truly believes that FORMULA Magazine will be a leading publication to the sport and delivers great value to partners and sponsors alike.