There was nothing unusual about Marc Marquez taking pole position for this weekend’s Malaysian MotoGP race, but there was something special about how he did it.
The reigning World Champion swung the momentum back in favour of his Repsol Honda team after a recent onslaught from rivals Yamaha, with team-mate Dani Pedrosa locking out the 2nd spot on the grid ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. Marquez and Pedrosa both dipped below the 2 minute mark for the first time ever at an official Sepang race weekend, while the younger Spaniard celebrated his 50th career pole position and also taking the record for number of pole starts in a season; 13 topping Casey Stoner’s record from 2011.
Hiroshi Aoyama had also been having a good day, marking his birthday by dragging his Aspar M7 into Q2 only to crash in the opening moments and doom himself to starting 11th ahead of Pol Espargaro who missed the session altogether after fracturing his left foot in a violent high-side at turn one in FP3. The Yamaha Tech 3 rider will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s race to judge whether he is fit enough to compete.
Andrea Iannone also sat out Saturday’s action thanks to a crash on Friday that piled bruises on top of bruises after his crash last week at Philip Island. The Pramac rider was hit by Marquez in a rain-afflicted FP2 and fell heavily, damaging his elbow.
Copyright – DORNA