The pre- race practice and qualifying sessions ended in much of a drama as Marquez achieved yet another pole breaking many records. On the flip side, Andrea Iannone of the Pramac Racing suffered a horrific accident on the Friday's practice session and was advised to pull out of the race, which he overruled by participating in the Saturday's session, only to realize that he will not be able to race further.
Seems like Marc Marquez is virtually unstoppable and he proved it once again in the Sepang, Malaysia circuit. After winning the consecutive world championship title last week, he again achieved a pole today to set the fastest ever qualifying lap of Sepang. Not only did he broke the two minute barrier and achieved it for the first time in the competition, he also won his 13th pole of the current season, breaking the earlier records by Casey Stoner and Mick Doohan of the most pole in a single campaign.
Marc said “I’m really happy for the pole position this weekend. Especially Friday we were trying a lot of things for the future. This morning we saw that we were still struggling for the best set up." He further added “I'm also happy to have broken the record. Maybe pole positions are somewhat insignificant because they don't give you any points, but you achieve them by being the fastest rider over a single lap. That doesn't mean that you will be the fastest in the race, of course, so the most important thing is what happens tomorrow.”
He was trailed by his team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who finishes 0.182 seconds slower than the Marquez finishing session at 1.59.973 as against 1.59.791 of Marquez. The top 3 of the pole was completed by Jorge Lorenzo of the Movistar Yamaha Team finishing race at 2.00.203, 0.412 seconds behind the Pedrosa. Stefan Bradl, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi will start next in the grid finishing 4th, 5th and 6th respectively. The top 10 was completed by Esparagaro, Cal Crutchlow, Bradley Smith and Alvaro Bautista.
Iannone stated, “It was really important that I tried today in practice, but I’m not at 100% and I can’t control the bike fully, so I prefer to try only in the practice because the risk is very high. The power in my arm is really not there. I don’t have a good feeling with the bike. It could be really dangerous. I am very sorry to skip this race because I wanted to finish the season well.” He also added “Tonight I will go to Italy and I want to work hard to recover for Valencia because it’s really important. I will have some more checks at home because it’s not really clear the situation. I just want to be at 100% in Valencia.”
“It was a good qualifying session. The times that were being put in were amazing, because in this heat the bikes don't normally go that fast and the tyres don't tend to have so much grip. We will try to have a good race, because the last two have not been great for us. We have a strong desire to take a good result, and we also need one if we want to finish runner-up in the Championship, but the first thing that we have to do is push 100% tomorrow regardless of whether it rains.” said Pedrosa.
Watch this space for the news from the Sunday race. Also, check the images of the Iannone crash below (the images can be dangerous, watch with care).