Marcos Ramirez on the #MalaysianGP podium, 20th place for Rory Skinner
In the sweltering heat, Marcos hit the ground running to put his Kalex machine into sixth spot on Friday as he improved by half a second on his best time across the day. Despite two red flags, pausing the final practice on two separate occasions, the Spaniard carried the momentum into Saturday to secure a direct Q2 place in the same spot.
Targeting a top three in the all-important Qualifying, Marcos narrowly missed out on the front row as his final flying lap was interrupted by yellow flags, rounding out Q2 in fifth place, his best Qualifying of his Moto2 career.
Making a lightning start to the 17-lap race, Marcos managed to avoid an early crash from Manu Gonzalez to move into third spot as he began stretching out the gap between himself and the rest of the field.
As the laps ticked down, Ai Ogura began closing the gap, but Marcos picked up the pace to add some much-needed tenths between them to take the chequered flag in third position and his first Moto2 podium.
With another new circuit to face, Rory used Friday to learn as much as he could about the Malaysian track, putting in 29 laps to round out the day in 23rd. An early mechanical issue caused him to crash on Saturday morning and curtailed the Scot’s final practice session to finish 27th.
In another close Q1 session, Rory missed out on a Q2 spot by less than a second to line up in 26th for Sunday’s race.
As the race got underway, Rory took evasive action to avoid the stricken bike of Gonzalez, halting his progress forward to keep him in 26th. But the Scot kept his head down, making up two places by lap three as he set about regaining lost ground.
Rory continued his progress to cross the finish line in 20th position.
Marcos Ramirez #24 – 3rd
I’m really happy with the result today. It was a hard race, I tried to keep the position all the way and, at the end, I had a nice battle with Ai Ogura. I’m super happy with how the weekend has gone, a huge thank you to the team for their work and for giving me the opportunity in the second half of the season. Let’s keep this going for the final two races.
Rory Skinner #33 – 20th
It was a tough race as I didn’t feel like I ever got into my rhythm. I rode quite tight in the first few laps and just struggled to get into the rhythm I’d had during the rest of the weekend, I don’t know why. Obviously, I need to address what isn’t working for me but it’s another weekend done – P20 – I think, looking at the rest of the weekend, that I could have been further up but for whatever reason, it just didn’t happen. Now, onto Qatar.