British teenager Bradley Smith had to settle for a distant fifth place in punishing heat at the Sepang circuit today as Spaniard Marc Marquez produced another dominant display to seize the initiative in the 125GP world championship.
Oxfordshire rider Smith had been relegated to sixth place on the penultimate lap when Efren Vazquez and Sandro Cortese passed him.
But he produced a brilliant overtake at the final corner on the last lap to take fifth from Cortese as he mini-revival ended.
Smith had claimed successive third places at the Motorland Aragon and Twin Ring Motegi but he never looked like a serious contender to continue that rostrum run after he’d started from the front row of the grid for the tenth time.
The race was once again a Spanish dominated affair and it was Marquez who prevailed with another assured display on the Derbi machine.
He led at the first corner, but was quickly relegated back down to third by title rivals Nicolas Terol and Pol Espargaro.
Smith then momentarily pushed him back to fourth, which gave Terol the chance to make an early break.
The Aspar Aprilia rider opened up a 1.163s lead but Marquez began his charge on lap three. He immediately reduced the gap to 0.653s and two laps later he was right on the back of Terol.
He took the lead on lap five at turn nine before Marquez, Terol and Espargaro all slowed drastically to conserve their tyres in extreme conditions that saw temperatures rocket to 33 degrees.
That pulled Smith, Vazquez and Cortese back into podium contention briefly before the leading trio started to attack again in the second half of the race.
Marquez, who had created history yesterday by recording his tenth pole position, decided to make his decisive move on lap 13. A lap of 2.13.773 moved him 1.212s clear of Espargaro and he cruised to his eighth win of the season by 2.314s.
Crucially though he was given a massive helping hand by Espargaro, who comfortably claimed second ahead of a fading Terol.
Marquez’s success put him three-points clear of Terol in the standings with only three races remaining, while Espargaro kept himself in the hunt, his second keeping him just 12-points further adrift.
Danny Kent was forced to retire out of the points on lap when his Lambretta suffered an electronics failure on lap 11. He was lying in 15th position.Danny Webb was running in a superb eighth when he suffered a nasty crash on lap 12.
Webb rolled several times through the gravel trap and needed to be taken away on a stretcher before he was transferred to the medical centre for further checks.