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Historic first pole for Khairuddin in Sepang

Historic first pole for Khairuddin in Sepang

Moto3™ qualifying for the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang saw AirAsia-SIC-Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin clinch a historic maiden-pole position at his home grand prix in a fantastic display ahead of Jonas Folger and Sandro Cortese.

Khairuddin chose the best occasion to score a personal hat trick, consisting of his first-ever GP pole position, being the first Malaysian rider to get pole, and doing so on his 21st birthday. The Malaysian youngster found another gear as qualifying got underway, yet left it until the very last laps to put the hammer down to get pole with the fastest lap of the weekend so far with a 2.13’885.

Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Jonas Folger, who had been the quickest rider in all the preceding practices, encountered some traffic on his final laps and just missed out on pole, while Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese suffered a similar fate on his hot laps. Heading the second row in fourth is Racing Team Germany’s Louis Rossi who increased his pace significantly in the afternoon qualifying, with Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Miguel Oliveira lining up next to him in fifth.

JHK t-shirt Laglisse’s Efrén Vázquez carried over his solid form into the afternoon and completes the second row in sixth, whilst seventh spot went to surprise inclusion Brad Binder on his RW Racing GP machine. What made Binder’s feat all the more impressive was the fact that he missed a large part of the morning session due to an engine problem. In eighth, Oliveira’s teammate Alex Rins managed to hold off Vázquez’s teammate Adrian Martín and last race winner, Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Danny Kent, who will be hoping to fight for the podium once more tomorrow.

Despite having set the fifth fastest time of the session, Binder’s teammate Luis Salom will start from tenth, as he was given a five-spot grid penalty by Race Direction after his crash with Folger last time out in Motegi. Both Team Italia FMI’s Romano Fenati and Mahindra Racing’s Danny Webb crashed in the session, but walked away unscathed.


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