Jorge Martin won a battle royale in the Malaysian heat, helping him win the 2018 Moto3 World Championship.
The 20-year-old from Madrid came into the race with a 12-point lead over Marco Bezzecchi and starting from the pole position, Martin had all the cards.
Bezzecchi started well and was aggressive in early laps, coming together with Darryn Binder, Tony Arbilino and Martin, thankfully nobody crashed out from the contact.
Martin was tentative in the early stages; however, a move from sixth to first in the final corner at the midway point seemed to kick Martin into life.
With a battle then ensuing over the second half of the race long battle with the Italian, with four laps to go the Gresini Honda rider pulled the plug and hammered the field, putting over three seconds into the field.
Bezzecchi was almost swamped by the chasing pack, with Leopard duo Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Enea Bastinianini both getting ahead of Bezzecchi, with Phillip Island winner Albert Arenas following through.
With Bezzecchi relegated to fifth and unable to do anything in the final corner, the Italian is 26 points behind with one race left, leaving Martin as the 2018 Moto3 World Champion.
The 2018 Championship was a battle of attrition with both riders failing to score points in five of the races, however, Martin’s seven wins to Bezzecchi’s three ended up being pivotal at the end of the season.
The Leopard Honda’s of Dalla Porta and Bastiniani held off Arenas for the two podium spots, with Bastiniani becoming the most successful Moto3 rider in history with his 30th podium in the class.
Arenas and Bezzecchi were fourth and fifth respectively with Fabio Di Giannantonio in sixth. ‘DiGi’ is only nine points behind Bezzecchi for second in the World Championship heading to Valencia.
Darryn Binder was seventh on his Red Bull Ajo KTM with Tony Arbolino, Tatsuki Suzuki and Nico Antonelli rounding out the top ten.