Sepang MotoGP Qualifying Results | Pedrosa on Pole; Marquez 7th

Valentino Rossi

"We went right, it was not the correct direction".

He bested Johann Zarco (Yamaha) and Andrea Dovizioso by 0.017 and 0.024 seconds, respectively, in the last minute of an incredibly hard-fought qualifying session.

"Both tires worked very well in qualifying, so I was able to find the rhythm on my first flying lap and set a good time, and then I pushed harder and improved on my second run".

"I had to take my second bike but I didn't feel flawless on it, so I did a la that was good but not good enough", said Marquez, still not content with this qualifying position.

Marquez theorised that his problems at Sepang stem from the incredibly high track temperatures working against his aggressive riding style, and is looking towards team-mate Dani Pedrosa - who starts on pole - for ideas on how to take a smoother approach.

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"I am happy with my feeling because we came here with a big gap from Marc and the only way is to be competitive in every condition". Anyway, we're not happy with today but not completely disappointed either, as our pace isn't bad.

Yamaha's Italian riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales, and Jorge Lorenzo of Spain (in that order) will start the race from the second row of the grid. Tomorrow we'll try and have a good race.

Marquez, who was seventh in qualifying after a crash, expects his teammate Pedrosa and his title rival Dovizioso to fight for the win, and considers himself part of a multi-way fight for third.

Italy's Dovizioso, who faces an uphill battle to stop Marquez winning his second straight world championship, clocked 2min 00.671sec, while Marquez was 0.279 slower in fifth on the overall standings. "If you don't have a good pace, it's no good thinking about race strategies and we were fast in all the conditions, especially in the dry and with used tires like this afternoon in FP4". He had managed to keep his bike in control despite a front-end slide on turn one going wrong.

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