Pedrosa Leads Honda 1-2 in Sepang Qualifying

Dani Pedrosa claimed his first pole position in sixteen months with a new circuit record in qualifying at Sepang. The Spaniard led a Repsol Honda 1-2 with Marc Marquez qualifying second while Valentino Rossi struck an important blow in the title battle by beating Jorge Lorenzo to third spot.

All eyes were focused on the Spaniards at the start of Q2 with Marquez leading the pack around with Lorenzo locked into his slipstream. The world champion clocked a 1:59.682 to get the ball rolling while his compatriot followed him over the finish line with a 1:59.737, slotting him into second. Further back, another Spanish rider was lighting up the timing screens, this time on his own, and with no traffic to worry about, Pedrosa put six tenths into his rivals with a 1:59.053.

Although the leading contenders opted for three runs, improvements were few and far between in the remaining minutes with Marquez lucky to avoid a high speed crash at turn twelve, saving the situation on his elbow in extraordinary fashion. The last change on the leaderboard was the biggest of all though with Rossi, lying fourth, producing a crucial personal-best in the final sector to snatch third from his teammate.

Lorenzo was relegated to fourth, much to his surprise and annoyance when he arrived at parc ferme at the end of the session, while Cal Crutchlow knocked Andrea Iannone down to sixth after the Ducatis failed to improve late on. Andrea Dovizioso will start seventh with Q1 qualifiers Maverick Vinales and Bradley Smith for company on row three while Hector Barbera qualified a superb tenth, comfortably the top open class rider.



PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
126. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:59.053Q2
293. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:59.462Q2
346. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:59.726Q2
499. Jorge LorenzoYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:59.737Q2
535. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda2:00.199Q2
629. Andrea IannoneDucatiDucati Team2:00.224Q2
74. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team2:00.423Q2
825. Maverick VinalesSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR2:00.478Q2
938. Bradley SmithYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 32:00.652Q2
108. Hector BarberaDucatiAvintia Racing2:00.724Q2
1141. Aleix EspargaroSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR2:00.724Q2
1244. Pol EspargaroYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 32:00.794Q2
139. Danilo PetrucciDucatiOcto Pramac Racing2:01.223Q1
146. Stefan BradlApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini2:01.346Q1
1545. Scott ReddingHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS2:01.367Q1
1643. Jack MillerHondaLCR Honda2:01.725Q1
1719. Alvaro BautistaApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini2:01.727Q1
1868. Yonny HernandezDucatiOcto Pramac Racing2:01.748Q1
1969. Nicky HaydenHondaAspar MotoGP Team2:01.829Q1
2076. Loris BazYamaha ForwardForward Racing2:01.862Q1
2124. Toni EliasYamaha ForwardForward Racing2:02.415Q1
2250. Eugene LavertyHondaAspar MotoGP Team2:02.460Q1
2363. Mike Di MeglioDucatiAvintia Racing2:02.964Q1
2413. Anthony WestHondaAB Motoracing2:03.855Q1
2555. Damian CudlinARTE-Motion IodaRacing Team2:06.051Q1