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GP Week : Issue 139
THE title battle stayed open in the smallest class too, as Nico Terol faltered in the final laps, dropping to fifth after leading much of the race. With rival Johan Zarco securing third, the Spanish Bankia Aprilia rider will have to wait two more weeks. Terol secured pole for the seventh time this year while Zarco had a nightmare, qualifying only 15th on a hastily patched-up AirAsia Derbi after crashing in the early stages. It was Terol away first, chased by Sandro Cortese (Intact Aprilia), Maverick Vinales (Blusens Aprilia) and Jonas Folger (Red Bull Aprilia). Zarco had an amazing first lap and lay fifth. Folger dropped away as Terol’s team-mate Hector Faubel joined in, and the lead group of five was still all up close for the first ten laps. By now Vinales had led for three laps, with Cortese in second. On lap 13 Terol took over again and tried to break away. No way. All four went with him, and now he started to make the odd mistake. He blamed fading tyres, and on the last lap, as Cortese took to the front again, he almost crashed and ran onto the grass at the esses. Vinales was in front again by the flag after a desperate last lap, Cortese three tenths down. It was the 16-year-old rookie’s third win in his debut season. By then Zarco was a couple of seconds down and Faubel likewise on him. And only then did Terol cross the line. He didn’t complete the slow- down lap, parking the bike, walking off and collapsing with heat exhaustion, to be resuscitated at the medical centre. Folger was a lone sixth; a long way back Malaysian Zulfahmi Khairuddin (AirAsia Derbi) thrilled home fans by defeating Kornfeil, Moncayo and Kent in a long fight for seventh. It equalled his best- ever result. 125: TeRoL faLTeRs, new boy wins MOTOGP MALAYSIA >> 33