World Championship leader Marc Marquez took his eighth pole position of the season with a new lap record at the Sepang International Circuit on Saturday.
It was an exciting conclusion to Q2 at the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, Marquez again putting on a show, as he broke the circuit record on his final hot lap. That was enough to give him pole position number eight of the season, his fourth in a row.
Valentino Rossi, Cal Crutchlow, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa all took turns to lead the way in the 15 minute shootout, but it was rookie and World Championship leader Marquez who smashed the circuit record with his last attempt.
A mistake at Turn 1 of his penultimate lap had left him with little margin for error on his final go, but he came back strong to take another pole position. He will be joined by Rossi and Crutchlow on the front row, with Lorenzo and Pedrosa on the second row in fourth and fifth, respectively.
"I'm really happy with this pole position, particularly as earning it was a little different to with my previous poles," reflected the young Spaniard. "At the start of qualifying there were two completely wet corners, which made it hard to put in a hot lap as we had to calculate the amount of risk ‒whilst still maintaining our speed. I knew that the final lap of the session would be definitive, because the surface was drying out and conditions were getting better by the minute."
"Things worked out for us and I set a time that I really wasn't expecting. Tomorrow will be a different story, because Lorenzo and Dani both have a great pace, so we shall see if we have a bit of good fortune and the conditions remain dry."