Malaysian Motocycle Grand Prix
The roar of powerful bikes can be heard above the festivities at the Sepang International Circuit during the Malaysian MotoGP!
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The Malaysian Motocycle Grand Prix, also known as the Malaysian MotoGP, has been integral part of the World Motocycle Grand Prix Championship since 1991 and is an established international event in Kuala Lumpur's tourism calendar. The race has been held at three different venues in Malaysia, beginning with the inaugural race at the Shah Alam Circuit in 1991, before moving to the Johor Circuit in Pasir Gudang in 1998. The race is now held annually at the Sepang International Circuit, after its opening in 1999.
The 5.5 kilometre race circuit in Sepang makes the race one of the fastest, owing to the circuit's signature double straights which offer ample opportunities for overtaking, as well as 14 turns designed to put every rider's skills to the test. All three categories, 125cc, 250cc and the premier MotoGP, have been included in every edition of the Malaysian MotoGP. The number of laps depends on each category – 19 for the 125cc race, 20 for the 250cc race, and 21 for the MotoGP race. Tire selection is also crucial to victory at the Malaysian MotoGP, as the sudden weather changes are another signature element of this race.
The race is well supported by local fans, who are joined by their foreign brethren in a mutual celebration every year when the MotoGP is held at the circuit. For three days, the usually quiet circuit turns into a colourful carnival, and large crowds throng around and watch in anticipation as their favourite riders ride it out on the asphalt, chasing eternal glory and the coveted chequered flag.
The Malaysian MotoGP is the longest running racing event in Malaysia, having held its inaugural race in 1991 at the Shah Alam Circuit. After 7 years in Shah Alam, the race was run once at the Johor Circuit in Pasir Gudang in 1998, before moving to its present location at Sepang International Circuit.
The legendary Max Biaggi, who dominated the 250cc category in the 1990s, raced some of his finest races at the Shah Alam Circuit, winning the 250cc race of the Malaysian MotoGP four years consecutively as he went on to take the 250cc title from 1994 to 1997. His only victory in the MotoGP category came in 2002, at the Sepang International Circuit. The most successful motorcycle rider of all time, Valentino Rossi has won the Malaysian MotoGP premier category five times, equalling Australian Michael Doohan's feat.
1991 - John Kocinski of Yamaha
1992 - Michael Doohan of Honda
1993 - Wayne Rainey of Yamaha
1994 - Michael Doohan of Honda
1995 - Michael Doohan of Honda
1996 - Luca Cadalora of Honda
1997 - Michael Doohan of Honda
1998 - Michael Doohan of Honda
1999 - Kenny Roberts, Jr. of Suzuki
2000 - Kenny Roberts, Jr. of Suzuki
2001 - Valentino Rossi of Honda
2002 - Max Biaggi of Yamaha
2003 - Valentino Rossi of Honda
2004 - Valentino Rossi of Yamaha
2005 - Loris Capirossi of Ducati
2006 - Valentino Rossi of Yamaha
2007 - Casey Stoner of Ducati
2008 - Valentino Rossi of Yamaha
2009 - Casey Stoner of Ducati