In the shadows of MH370, F1 brings some light to Malaysia

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Yesterday’s Malaysian Grand Prix was always going to be a subdued affair as the nation mourns following the disappearance of flight MH370 three weeks ago. However, the home representatives in the race put on a good show as the race brought some light to Kuala Lumpur at such a difficult time.

Although there were no Malaysian drivers racing – you’d need to go back to Alex Yoong in 2002 – there was a strong home connection to the all-conquering Mercedes team. The German marque’s title sponsor, Petronas, hails from Malaysia, and is the company that owns the iconic Petronas Towers that dominate the Kuala Lumpur skyline.

On the podium after the race, third place finisher Nico Rosberg was quick to address the Malaysian fans.

“Malaysia you can be proud because your company Petronas has taken us to the front of F1, so you can be really proud of that,” he said. “Petronas has given us the best oil and fuel in F1, it’s brilliant.”

Lewis Hamilton was slightly more reserved during his interview, dedicating his win to those affected by the disappearance of MH370.

“I just feel so grateful,” he said. “Particularly after such a tragedy three weeks ago. I’d really like to dedicate this to those people and their families.”

The only Malaysian team on the grid – Caterham – enjoyed a very successful race on home soil. The team had struggled throughout pre-season and got neither of its cars to the finish in Australia. However, this weekend, both Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson saw the checkered flag.

Kobayashi’s performance was particularly spectacular as he fought with the likes of Romain Grosjean and Daniil Kvyat for position, and eventually finished in 13th place, already bettering the team’s best result from 2013.

Team owner Tony Fernandes, who hails from Malaysia, tweeted: “Well done @CaterhamF1 especially our two drivers. After all the gremlins great to get two cars home and good pace with so little set up.”

Formula 1 also honored the victims and families of MH370 with a minute of silence before the race.

MotoGP points leader Fabio Quartararo scores third win of season

MotoGP Fabio Quartararo
LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images
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Fabio Quartararo won the Catalan Grand Prix, recapturing the MotoGP points lead and his championship momentum Sunday with his third victory of the season.

Quartararo, who opened the season with his first two career victories in the premier series, took his first checkered flag in two months by winning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya aboard his Petronas Yamaha SRT.

The French rider opened an eight-point lead (108-100) over Joan Mir, who finished second Sunday. Alex Rins was third.

After winning the previous race, Maverick Vinales slipped to 18 points behind Quartararo after a ninth-place finish.

Andrea Dovizioso was the points leader entering the race but crashed his Ducati in the second turn and placed last. Dovizioso fell three spots to fourth in the championship rankings, 24 points behind Fabio Quartararo in MotoGP.