Jorge Lorenzo, the 2010 motoGP World Champion, before the race.
Jorge Lorenzo won the 2010 motoGP World Championship after finishing in third position in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Lorenzo, who managed to grab pole position on Saturday after a stunning final sector, needed to finish in the top 10 to win the championship.
His closest competitor, Dani Pedrosa, crashed during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, leaving Lorenzo with a massive points gap that could not be bridged by Pedrosa when he comes back in the final two races.
Despite not needing to finish highly in the race, Lorenzo took the lead into the first corner, followed by Dovizioso.
Dovizioso tried to make things as difficult as possible for the Yamaha rider, but could not get past in Sepang, even when he was setting fastest laps.
Behind them, 2009 champion Valentino Rossi had recovered from a horrific start. The Italian had fallen to 11th position, but quickly clawed his way back through the field.
Rossi was eventually in third, and looked the strongest as he started to set fastest laps in the clear air between the leaders and the main group of riders behind them.
Lorenzo was the first to be overtaken by Rossi, continuing their epic battle from Motegi in the last race as they duelled for second position in the race. However, Lorenzo put up much less of a fight, and let Rossi go clear.
Then Rossi turned his attention to Dovizioso. The Repsol-Honda rider, who had looked unimpressive this season until his teammate Pedrosa crashed, tried his hardest to cling on to the top spot.
However, Dovizioso was finally passed by Rossi, but the underrated Italian did not give up against his more successful compatriot. They traded places once again, but Rossi won the race by 0.224 seconds.
Lorenzo crossed the line in third position to the sight of his team celebrating in the pit lane.
He was followed by Ben Spies in fourth, Bautista in fifth, Hayden sixth, Aoyama seventh, Simoncelli eighth, Melandri ninth and de Puniet 10th.
Barbera and Kallio completed the list of riders who completed the 20 lap race, while Edwards, Espargaro and Capirossi did not finish.