After a one-week break, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team return to Asia for the Grand Prix of Malaysia held at the Sepang International Circuit this weekend. It is the first of the three back-to-back GPs that make up the final stretch to the end of the 2023 MotoGP season.
With a 145-point tally Fabio Quartararo has moved up to ninth in the championship standings, and he will be on the attack again this weekend. He has raced at the Sepang circuit five times (in the Moto3 class in 2016, in Moto2 in 2017 and 2018, and in MotoGP in 2019 and 2022) and never finished outside the top 7. He came close to a podium finish in 2016 and 2018, when he finished fourth and fifth, and got his first podium finish on Malaysian soil last year when he secured third place despite riding with a hand injury sustained in a crash in FP4.
Franco Morbidelli arrives at the final triple-header eager to see if he can carry forward the speed and pace he found at the Thai GP. The round once again showed the importance of a top-10 finish in the Friday Practice session, which is his aim here this weekend. The Italian has positive memories of the Malaysian GPs in the Moto2 class in 2016 and 2017 when he secured second and third place respectively. His highest MotoGP finish was with Yamaha in 2019, taking sixth place.
The Sepang International Circuit staged its first Grand Prix in 1999 and has been on the MotoGP calendar ever since. The 5.5 km track has a reputation for providing very exciting racing thanks to a mixture of slow and medium to high-speed corners (five left and ten right) and two long straights, the longest measuring 920m. The circuit is also one of the longest tracks of the MotoGP season, and the riders have to negotiate it in extremely hot and humid conditions, making this GP extra challenging.
Those who want to refresh their memory of what close racing action at the Malaysian track looks like can watch our latest MotoGP eSport video.
The Grand Prix of Malaysia is held in the GMT +8 time zone. FP1 will take place on Friday from 10:45 - 11:30 local track time and Practice will be held from 15:00 - 16:00. On Saturday, FP2 will be held from 10:10 - 10:40, and the qualifying sessions from 10:50 - 11:30, followed by the Sprint that starts at 15:00. On Sunday, Warm Up is held from 10:40 - 10:50 and the Race starts at 15:00.