The rising temperature in Sepang played a big part in qualifying with Moto3 getting the coolest temperatures as the got qualifying under way for the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.
|On Track…Tito Rabat Photo: Marc VDS
Jack Miller’s best lap of 2m 12.450 set a new lap and pole record of Sepang for the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider at the same time as title leader Alex Marquez fell from his Estrella Galicia Honda, leaving him in fifth.
British rider John McPhee had been on the pace all weekend, having been the first rider to set a new best lap of the track in FP3 and remained in contention having topped the session, taking second for the SaxoPrint-RTG team.
The final spot on the front row went to Jakub Kornfeil, a strong performance pushing the Calvo Team man to third.
Efren Vazquez took fourth on the second SaxoPrint machine, Marquez fifth, while Romano Fenati enjoyed his best qualifying for some time with sixth on the grid for Sky Racing Team VR46.
Danny Kent seemed spurred on by a late crash, going on to set his best lap at the flag for a gutsy seventh.
Joining him on row two are Team Calvo’s Isaac Vinales in eighth and Mahindra’s Miguel Oliveira in ninth, with Enea Bastianini completing the top ten for Junior Team Go& Fun.
Alex Rins continued to struggle and finds himself down in 19th.
Top home rider was wild-card Ramdan Rosli in 21st beating regular rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin by one place, in 22nd after a crash.
Moto2 was last and got the worst of the heat, with even the consistent, metronomic performance of eventual pole man Tito Rabat broken up by a break in his pit box.
The Marc VDS rider set the best lap of 2m 07.429 on just his third tour of the track, increasing his Moto2 pole record with Sepang being his tenth time at the front of the grid this season.
Equally exhausted was team-mate Mika Kallio, the Finn declaring it ‘not his weather’ as he did his best to halt Rabat’s efforts to become world champion, taking second on the grid.
Sandro Cortese returns to the front row, also with a fast early lap when the track was coolest for the class, taking third on the grid for Dynavolt Intact GP.
Maverick Vinales broke the trend, needing to improve from 12th the Paginas Amarillas HP 40 rider looking angry and frustrated before a late lap pushed him to fourth.
Tom Luthi continued his run of form in fifth for Interwetten and was the top Suter, with Taka Nakagami also rescuing his qualifying on his last lap, muscling his way up to sixth.
Just behind on time was Julian Simon for Italtrans in seventh, with Johann Zarco next on the timesheets for AirAsia Caterham in eighth then Dominique Aegerter, who wrestled his Technomag carXpert machine up to ninth. Axel Pons’ early lap held on to a top ten start for the AGR Team.
Sam Lowes was 15th for Speed Up, fellow Brit Gino Rea was 21st for AGT Rea Racing.
Top home rider was Hafizh Syahrin in 18th for Petronas Raceline Malaysia.
For the full Moto3 result click here
and for Moto2, here