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Pedrosa makes it third straight win to cut title gap on Lorenzo

updated 9:59 AM EDT, Sun October 21, 2012
Dani Pedrosa savors his victory in the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang which boosts his title hopes.
Dani Pedrosa savors his victory in the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang which boosts his title hopes.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dani Pedrosa wins Malaysian Moto-GP at Sepang
  • Third straight victory for Spaniard to boost his title challenge
  • Standings leader Jorge Lorenzo again finishes second
  • Race cut to 13 laps from 20 because of wet conditions

(CNN) -- Spain's Dani Pedrosa kept up the pressure on championship leader Jorge Lorenzo with victory in a rain-hit Malaysian MotoGP Sunday.

Pedrosa passed pole sitter Lorenzo midway through the 20-lap race at Sepang which had to be shortened to 13 laps because of the appalling conditions.

It was the third straight success for Honda's Pedrosa, but each time Yamaha's Lorenzo has occupied second place to limit the damage.

He leads by 23 points overall with two rounds remaining in Australia and Valencia.

Tributes pour in for Simoncelli

Pedrosa crossed the line nearly four seconds ahead of Lorenzo as officials displayed the red flag to bring it to a premature halt.

Several riders had already come unstuck in the heavy rain.

It was his sixth victory of the season.

Pedrosa's teammate, the reigning world champion Casey Stoner of Australia, finished third, returning to the podium as he recovers from a ankle injury sustained in a crash in the U.S. round at Indianapolis.

Ducati pair American Nicky Hayden and nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi finished fourth and fifth.

Alex De Angelis won the Moto2 race, while German KTM rider Sandro Cortese clinched the Moto3 title after taking the checkered flag in that class.

The proceedings marked a year since the tragic death of MotoGP star Marco Simoncelli in a freak accident at Sepang.

A plaque has been unveiled in the Italian's honor by Turn 11 of the circuit.

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