News 28 Oct 2017

Pedrosa scores MotoGP pole position in Malaysia

Morbidelli tops Moto2 as a Mir flies to fastest lap in Moto3 qualifying.

Source: Supplied.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) topped an incredible qualifying shootout at Sepang International Circuit, with the front row split by only 0.024 seconds and the Spaniard coming out on top.

Pedrosa, the pole record-holder, put in a number of quick laps towards the end and stole it on his final attempt to take his 11th front row and fourth pole at the venue.

Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was second, top Independent Team rider and top Yamaha, ahead of the first of the title challengers in Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). Dovizioso was only 0.024 seconds off pole and was the man provisionally set to take it until the final few seconds.

The Italian holds the cards after key rival and points leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) had a more difficult session and will line up seventh, on the third row. Marquez crashed on his first flier, taking a tumble at turn 15, but able to get the bike going and head down pit-lane and was unable to threaten once back out on track.

The second row is headed by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) after the first man into the 1m59s on Saturday morning was able to get the better of teammate Maverick Viñales, with the Spaniard just 0.040s off the veteran Italian and lining up in fifth.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) completes an all-star second row, again within a tenth of the man ahead of him. Behind Marquez in seventh is Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) – the first of the Q2 graduates – who just beat teammate Andrea Iannone, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) completing the top 10 after a crash.

Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) lines up P11, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in 12th and once again keeping the Austrian manufacturer in Q2 as their impressive form continues. Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) and teammate Scott Redding line up in 13th and 14th, with Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) 15th.

Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) set himself up for a final push towards the Moto2 championship crown on Saturday at Sepang, taking pole by just 0.026s ahead of Phillip Island winner Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and rookie Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40). Remy Gardner (Tech3 Racing) will start out of 25th.

The big headline from the session, however, was a huge high-side crash for title contender Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten), with the Swiss rider getting to his feet but headed to the medical centre for a check-up. Lüthi was fifth fastest.

Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) has taken his first pole position of the season a week after wrapping up the Moto3 crown at Phillip Island. Almost half a second quicker than the previous lap record for Jack Miller that has stood since 2014, Mir topped Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and British Talent Team rider John McPhee.