Pedrosa storms to Sepang pole position

Dani Pedrosa will start Sunday's Malaysian MotoGP from pole position on a day when his Honda team-mate Marc Marquez could wrap up the title.

There was early drama for Marquez, who after pulling off the save of the season in FP4, was unable to do the same in qualifying, going down at Turn 15 on his very first lap.

The Honda rider returned to the pits before going back out and setting the third fastest time, lining up behind Johann Zarco and Maverick Vinales.

His title rival Andrea Dovizioso was down in seventh place after the first run.

Heading out for a second run, Pedrosa went quickest but lost out to Valentino Rossi who in turn was pipped by Dovizioso. 

Pedrosa faught back with a 1:59.212 to take pole position for the Malaysian MotoGP ahead of Zarco and Dovizioso.

Rossi was fourth, joined on the second row by Vinales and Jorge Lorenzo.

Marquez plummeted to P7, 0.482s slower than his Honda team-mate.

Alex Rins, who had to come Q1, was eighth ahead of Andrea Iannone, Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller.

Pol Espargaro was one of the two riders to progress through Q1 despite crashing late in the session, down at Turn 12. He was forced to contest Q2 on his second bike and finished P12.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Michael van der Mark qualified at the very back of the grid after a high-speed crash during the opening qualifying session. He went down at Turn 5 at pace, destroying the bike and putting a hole in his leathers.

Times
1 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 322.9 1'59.212 
2 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 320.2 1'59.229 0.017 / 0.017
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 324.2 1'59.236 0.024 / 0.007
4 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 318.3 1'59.498 0.286 / 0.262
5 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 322.1 1'59.538 0.326 / 0.040
6 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team Ducati 322.0 1'59.622 0.410 / 0.084
7 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 320.9 1'59.694 0.482 / 0.072
8 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 316.8 1'59.992 0.780 / 0.298
9 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 315.9 2'00.119 0.907 / 0.127
10 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda 318.6 2'00.181 0.969 / 0.062
11 Jack MILLER AUS EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 319.6 2'00.326 1.114 / 0.145
12 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 319.0 2'00.770 1.558 / 0.444
13 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 325.2 2'00.351 0.213 / 0.164
14 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 321.2 2'00.451 0.313 / 0.100
15 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 325.0 2'00.469 0.331 / 0.018
16 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 312.9 2'00.718 0.580 / 0.249
17 Loris BAZ FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 317.5 2'01.050 0.912 / 0.332
18 Sam LOWES GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 312.9 2'01.207 1.069 / 0.157
19 Tito RABAT SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 318.4 2'01.228 1.090 / 0.021
20 Hector BARBERA SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 317.3 2'01.413 1.275 / 0.185
21 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 319.3 2'01.570 1.432 / 0.157
22 Michael VAN DER MARK NED Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 314.5 2'02.376 2.238 / 0.806

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