Results and summary of qualifying for MotoGP:
Dani Pedrosa has taken a blistering pole at Sepang, destroying the existing record held by Jorge Lorenzo by half a second. The Repsol Honda rider went out a little later than the rest, having chosen to go for a one-stop strategy and not a two-stop, like most of the rest, and on his very first flying lap smashed the pole record. It is his first pole since Barcelona in 2014.
Repsol Honda teammate Marc Marquez took 2nd on the grid, the Spaniard going out early and going quickly on his first lap. Changing rear tires for his second run proved to be problematic, as he pushed the front and had a massive moment at Turn 12, completely losing the front wheel and yet somehow remaining on the bike. He improved on his final lap, but could get nowhere near his teammate.
Marquez also managed to stoke the fires of conspiracy, leading Jorge Lorenzo out of the pits, and allowing the Movistar Yamaha rider to set his fastest time behind him. Whether Marquez did it intentionally or not is unclear, as is whether he did it in response to Valentino Rossi's accusations on Thursday, but it will only have increased the tension between the two.
The spat certainly seems to have inspired Valentino Rossi. The Italian looked to be starting from 4th tomorrow, but an inspired last lap saw him just pip his teammate at the end, grabbing a front row start and taking 3rd. Rossi will have inspired his own set of conspiracy theories, following Andrea Iannone out for his first flying lap, but then setting his quickest flying lap on his own.
Jorge Lorenzo will head up the second row of the grid, though he thought that he had 3rd in the bag. Lorenzo could not improve on his fastest time in his last two runs. He rolled into pit lane and headed to Parc Fermé, where he was waved back to his pit box, much to his surprise. Rossi had snatched 3rd from Lorenzo after the Spaniard had finished, and he had not realized.
Cal Crutchlow put in an impressive performance to start from 5th on the grid. The LCR Honda rider was half a second slower than the front four, and just edged ahead of Andrea Iannone on the Ducati, who took 6th.
|20||76||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||2'01.862||1.109||0.033|
|21||24||Toni Elias||Yamaha Forward||2'02.415||1.662||0.553|
|23||63||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||2'02.964||2.211||0.504|