2018 Sepang MotoGP QP Result: Ace of Sprays

Marc Marquez found the silver lining in a grey and wet qualifying session to take pole position by half a second from his nearest competitor at the Sepang Circuit Saturday. Marquez's pole -- the 80th of his racing career -- came early enough in the 15-minute session to give the World Champion enoough time to crash and remount on his second bike before the the end of qualifying.

Johann Zarco, the only other rider to dip into the 2'12s, seized the second spot on the grid as time expired. His last-gasp effort pushed Valentino Rossi into the third spot on the front row for Sunday's race which is expected to be run in the dry. Andrea Iannone starts the second row in fourth place, narrowing topping Andrea Dovizioso (5th) who crashed toward the end of the slippery session. Jack Miller completed the second row after spending much of qualifying near the top of the timesheet.

Danilo Petrucci (7th) heads up the third row, just beating out Alex Rins. Alvaro Bautista -- who along with Aleix Espargaro advanced from an even wetter Q1 -- secured ninth. Dani Pedrosa, who still holds the lap record at the circuit, completed the top 10.

The first qualifying session was delayed for an hour while torrential rain fell across the entire circuit. This forced both sessions to be run later in the afternoon and on full rain tires. Worries about continued afternnon rains prompted organizers to move Sunday's race schedule up by two hours. Look HERE for the new race schedule.

UPDATE

Marc Marquez was handed a six-place grid penalty for obstructing Andrea Iannone. Marquez will start from seventh, everyone back to Jack Miller move up one place. Marquez' pole position still counts towards his pole statistics.

Results:

Note: Riders in bold advanced from Q1

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 2'12.161    
2 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha 2'12.709 0.548 0.548
3 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 2'13.009 0.848 0.300
4 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 2'13.097 0.936 0.088
5 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 2'13.183 1.022 0.086
6 43 Jack MILLER Ducati 2'13.274 1.113 0.091
7 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 2'13.413 1.252 0.139
8 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 2'13.463 1.302 0.050
9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 2'14.185 2.024 0.722
10 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 2'14.443 2.282 0.258
11 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 2'14.856 2.695 0.413
12 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 2'15.340 3.179 0.484
13 45 Scott REDDING Aprilia 2'13.786 0.475 0.451
14 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 2'13.823 0.512 0.037
15 10 Xavier SIMEON Ducati 2'13.971 0.660 0.148
16 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 2'14.132 0.821 0.161
17 38 Bradley SMITH KTM 2'14.332 1.021 0.200
18 12 Thomas LUTHI Honda 2'14.843 1.532 0.511
19 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 2'14.994 1.683 0.151
20 6 Stefan BRADL Honda 2'15.364 2.053 0.370
21 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 2'15.679 2.368 0.315
22 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 2'16.558 3.247 0.879
23 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 2'16.825 3.514 0.267
Retired 81 Jordi TORRES

Ducati

     
Round Number: 
18
2018
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Comments

A strange quali - Marquez spectacular performance notwithstanding. 

But the irony that 93 got a penalty because he obstructed.... Iannone! Of all people! I mean crazy Joe is the one rider who spent almost the whole season waiting to follow a faster bike in quali.... It's hilarious it had to be him

But the penalty is fair: MM slowed down another racer whose pace was fast enough to get one of the  front spots on the grid...

TBH first or seventh on the grid does not make any difference for MM. He'll be in front in less than 3 corners