Maverick Vinales took inspiration from his Phillip Island failure to set up a dominant victory in Malaysia on Sunday.
Vinales crushed his rivals on race day in Sepang to move to third in the riders’ standings, with closest rival Marc Marquez over three seconds back.
It was Marquez who crushed Vinales’ dream on the final lap in Australia, with the works Yamaha rider falling within sight of the flag as he tried desperately to overhaul the world champion, before admitting finishing second wasn’t an option.
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His plan failed at Phillip Island. It worked beautifully in Malaysia
Marquez won the race, but was on the back foot in Malaysia when qualifying drama sent him tumbling into the ground, and tumbling to a worst qualifying result in over four years.
Vinales was the dominant rider in Sepang, but like in Phillip Island, the threat from Marquez from behind remained. This time around, Vinales bolted and created a gap not even Marquez could overhaul.
Regardless, it was a stunning performance by Marquez, who after starting 11th, was into the top five after the first corner.
The Sepang result marked Vinales’ second win of 2019 after his Dutch TT breakthrough in June, and seventh of his premier class career.
“It’s amazing. Amazing,” said Vinales of his Sepang win.
“At Phillip Island, I felt like I had the victory in my hands, but I made a mistake and I crashed.
“All weekend here, I’ve been very consistent with new tyre, used tyre, time attacks.
“I knew if I got to first place, I had a chance to push, push and push to try and open a gap.
“I’m very happy, very pleased. I have to say congratulations to the team. We are improving race by race, I’m getting better and stronger, especially with rhythm in the first lap.
“I’m very happy, I will enjoy the moment.”
The end result wasn’t so much Vinales’ highlight – rather, how he got there, staving off any threat from Marquez behind.
“This time, I kept a little bit in the pocket just in case Marc came back,” Vinales said.
“I am very happy because we managed the weekend very good and finally I started good in the first laps and I was there.
“For many races I have been trying to fight for the victory and today I had the chance, and I did it … I have to say congratulations to all the team, to Yamaha and all the people who always support me.
“We trusted the bike a lot to get the victory and today we did it.”
Marquez acknowledged Vinales’ pace, and despite missing out on a sixth straight win, claimed the all-time points record for a single season (395). He also tallied the most podiums (17) in a single campaign.
“The first lap was incredible and not only me but [Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso], he did an incredible start and was like a rocket from the left of the grid,” Marquez said.
“In the first corner I did a good move there, and then I was just pushing.
“I was looking for Vinales because I knew he had the best pace and I knew if I could catch him I would be with him like in Phillip Island, but then in two laps I lost too much time with Jack [Miller] and then he opened that one second gap.
“When he is faster it is impossible to reduce the gap. Today he was the fastest guy on the track.”