Luis Salom wins Malaysian GP on final corner13/10/2013
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider claims seventh victory of 2013 and increases World Championship lead to 14 points. Arthur Sissis places nineteenth after contact from fellow rider. Zulfahmi Khairuddin unable to race through injury.
Luis Salom took the win at Sepang in a thrilling Moto3 race, decided by a double overtake on the final corner. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider claimed another victory and increased his advantage in the overall standings to 14 points. Arthur Sissis took nineteenth place, whilst Zulfahmi Khairuddin was declared unfit to race due to his right wrist injury.
Salom’s pace was fierce on the opening laps, as part of a group of twelve frontrunners. With three laps remaining he tried to take the initiative, although it was not until the final corner that the win would be decided. The Spaniard exchanged overtakes with Alex Rins, concluding 0.069s ahead of his rival at the chequered flag.
Arthur Sissis was not so fortunate. He took off from row six and was riding in the points when a clip from another rider on lap 2 took him off track. Despite this, Sissis did not throw in the towel and worked hard to place nineteenth.
After making a titanic effort to overcome pain in his right wrist all weekend, Zulfahmi Khairuddin was eventually withdrawn from his home race. The Malaysian rider was suffering a lot from his recently operated appendage, and was declared unfit for the race following the warmup. He hopes to return to action at Phillip Island.
With three races to go before the conclusion of the 2013 season, Salom leads the World Championship with 284 points. He is 14 ahead of Rins in second. Zulfahmi Khairuddin lies tenth with 50 points, whilst Sissis is twelfth with 59.
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 40:42.441
2. Alex Rins (KTM) +0.069
3. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) +0.408
4. Alex Marquez (KTM) +0.782
5. Maverick Viñales (KTM) +1.055
19. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +34.809
Moto3 World Championship
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 284 points
2. Alex Rins (KTM) 270 points
3. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 258 points
4. Alex Marquez (KTM) 162 points
5. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 137 points
10. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 60 points
12. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 59 points
Luis Salom >> Audio
“The race was tough –the most difficult of the year– but was also the most fun. I want to congratulate Alex Rins, as on the last lap he was amazing. I think thanks to him we put on a great show. After this race I just have to thank the team, all the people who support me and especially to my personal team, because we’ve done a good job all weekend and without this group of people around me we could not achieve these results.”
Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“Today did not go too well. I made a good start, but then on the first corner there was a big tussle. I was able to overtake some riders who were riding a little crazy and started to catch the group ahead. However, on the last corner another rider hit me pretty hard and I went off track. I broke the fairing and after that I could no longer ride fast. Now I have to keep looking ahead to my home race at Phillip Island.”
Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Bahasa)
“I am very sad, because we worked so hard since last week along with the medical team in order to contest the race, but it was not possible. On Friday and Saturday the pain was a lot less than 10 days ago, but this morning when I put on my gloves I saw that was it much worse. I could not hold the bike well and couldn’t loosen my grip after braking, so after my last visit to the Clinica Mobile it was decided that the best thing to do was sit out the race in order to be fitter for the next round. I want to thank all the people who have supported me these last few days and apologise for not being able to ride at my home Grand Prix, but this was the best solution –taking into account the condition I was in. I hope to come back strong at Phillip Island.”
Aki Ajo >> Audio
“It was a beautiful race, perhaps one of the best I’ve seen in my life. We know that the Sepang International Circuit is very nice, with a very wide track, and that it is a place at which it is always nice to race. But we also know that races here usually feature groups and that there are usually great battles on the final laps, because the track is so wide that it allows you to use many different tracks. I am very happy for Luis [Salom], because he has done it again. The last two races have not been his best of the year, but neither were they too bad, so I’m very happy that he was able to stay focused –despite the comments of people who doubted him. For a rider trying to win a World Championship, it is important to be able to handle the pressure. He did so perfectly. Arthur [Sissis] had some problems during the race, as he was clipped by another rrider. Next weekend he has his home race and last year he was on the podium in Australia, so I’m sure he is very keen to show his potential at Phillip Island. Unfortunately, Fahmi [Zulfahmi Khairuddin] could not participate in the race. Both he and the team have done everything possible so that he could start, but also you have to understand that not long ago he underwent his operation and this morning the pain in his wrist was too great.”
*Audio solely for radio use