World champion Marc Marquez claimed victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi crashed from the lead in the closing stages.

Nine-time world champion Rossi looked on course to claim his first win in 26 MotoGP races after he got the jump on pole-sitter Johann Zarco at the Sepang International Circuit.

Marquez was back down the order after he was hit with a six-place grid penalty for blocking Andrea Iannone in qualifying.

But, by the end of lap five, the 25-year-old Spaniard had moved up to second and behind his rival.

Rossi, 39, had extended his gap over the Honda rider, but as the race wore on, Marquez slowly began to reel the Italian in.

The gap was reduced to just over half-a-second with just four laps remaining when Rossi lost control of the front of his Yamaha at the first corner and slid off the track.

Marquez claimed the ninth win of his championship-winning year, ahead of Zarco, while Alex Rins completed the podium positions.