Dani Pedrosa swiped pole position with his last flying lap at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia Saturday relegating Johann Zarco to second on the grid by less that two-hundredths of a second. Pedrosa's fast lap of 1'59.212 pushed within two-tenths of a second of his own pole record from two years ago.
Johann Zarco (2nd) continued a strong weekend and completed the 15-minute Q2 as the top Yamaha. Andrea Dovizioso grabbed the final spot on the front row with his Ducati, a little more than two hundredths from the top spot. Valentino Rossi, who had set the top qualifying time with less than two minutes remaining, was pushed from first to fourth in the session's final minute.
Next to Rossi (4th) on the second row of the grid is his Yamaha teammate Maverick Vinales. Completing the second row is Jorge Lorenzo (6th) who led the session early on.
And leading the third row? Marc Marquez (7th) with one of his worst qualifying sessions of his MotoGP career. Marquez crashed at tight Turn 15 early on his first fast lap. After returning to the pits, he set his best lap on his backup bike but could not improve on his position when he switched to primary Honda at the session's end.
Alex Rins, the fastest rider from Q1, improved his lot with eighth and top-Suzuki time. Rins was the final of the top eight riders to dip into the 1'59s. His Suzuki teammate Andrea Iannone grabbed ninth, completing the third row. Cal Crutchlow, who crashed during qualifying, rounded out the top 10.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff. / Prev.|
|2||5||Johann ZARCO||Yamaha||1'59.229||0.017 / 0.017|
|3||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||1'59.236||0.024 / 0.007|
|4||46||Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||1'59.498||0.286 / 0.262|
|5||25||Maverick VIÑALES||Yamaha||1'59.538||0.326 / 0.040|
|6||99||Jorge LORENZO||Ducati||1'59.622||0.410 / 0.084|
|7||93||Marc MARQUEZ||Honda||1'59.694||0.482 / 0.072|
|8||42||Alex RINS||Suzuki||1'59.992||0.780 / 0.298|
|9||29||Andrea IANNONE||Suzuki||2'00.119||0.907 / 0.127|
|10||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||2'00.181||0.969 / 0.062|
|11||43||Jack MILLER||Honda||2'00.326||1.114 / 0.145|
|12||44||Pol ESPARGARO||KTM||2'00.770||1.558 / 0.444|
|13||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||Ducati||2'00.351||0.213 / 0.164|
|14||45||Scott REDDING||Ducati||2'00.451||0.313 / 0.100|
|15||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||Ducati||2'00.469||0.331 / 0.018|
|16||38||Bradley SMITH||KTM||2'00.718||0.580 / 0.249|
|17||76||Loris BAZ||Ducati||2'01.050||0.912 / 0.332|
|18||22||Sam LOWES||Aprilia||2'01.207||1.069 / 0.157|
|19||53||Tito RABAT||Honda||2'01.228||1.090 / 0.021|
|20||8||Hector BARBERA||Ducati||2'01.413||1.275 / 0.185|
|21||17||Karel ABRAHAM||Ducati||2'01.570||1.432 / 0.157|
|22||60||Michael VAN DER MARK||Yamaha||2'02.376||2.238 / 0.806|
Note: Riders in bold participated in Q1.