Sepang MotoGP: Quartararo takes pole, Marquez crashes

Fabio Quartararo will start MotoGP's Malaysian Grand Prix from pole position, topping a qualifying session in which Marc Marquez crash heavily.

Sepang MotoGP: Quartararo takes pole, Marquez crashes

Petronas SRT's Quartararo put in a blinding 1m58.303s right at the flag to nab pole from fellow Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales.

The lap is the fastest-ever set on a MotoGP race weekend at the Sepang circuit, and came so late that Vinales was already celebrating, thinking he'd taken pole position. 

Franco Morbidelli made it a Yamaha front-row lock-out with third on the second Petronas bike.

Quartararo spent much of the session trying to shake Marquez from his slipstream, the world champion sticking doggedly to the back of the Frenchman every time he went out.

Quartararo did his best to delay the critical final run, hoping Marquez would give up, before biting the bullet with two minutes to go.

But he didn't have Marquez in his tow for long, the Honda rider suffering a spectacular high-side on his way into Turn 2.

Marquez walked away from the frightening accident, but ended up 11th thanks to not setting a time on his final run. That means he's facing his worst starting position since the 2015 Italian Grand Prix.

Jack Miller will start from fourth on the best of the Ducatis, joined on the second row by Q1 pacesetter Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha).

Suzuki rider Alex Rins, Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) and Johann Zarco (LCR Honda) were next, while Andrea Dovizioso was just 10th-fastest on the second works Ducati.

Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Ducati) was slowest in Q2, off the back of a high-speed low-side during Free Practice 4.

Crutchlow snatches Q1 honours

Crutchlow couldn't have left his run any later in Q1, the Briton only booking his progression into Q2 right at the flag.

Joan Mir and Petrucci had spent much of the session squabbling over the top two spots, the Suzuki rider managing to improve just enough on each run to hang on to top spot.

It was only as the chequered flag flew that Petrucci finally wrestled top spot from Mir, his 1m59.336s putting him 0.038s clear.

It proved to be a decisive position change, too, with Crutchlow beating them both with a 1m59.216s – leaving Mir stranded in Q1.

Jorge Lorenzo, meanwhile, will start a disappointing 18th after falling more than a second short of the Q1 pace on the second Repsol Honda.

His run into the session was compromised by a bizarre shunt in the closing stages of Free Practice 4, Lorenzo suffering a low-speed high-side after running wide at Turn 1. 

Q2 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 01'58.303
2 12 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 01'58.406 00.103
3 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 01'58.432 00.129
4 43 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 01'58.725 00.422
5 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow
Honda 01'58.951 00.648
6 46 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 01'59.000 00.697
7 42 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 01'59.090 00.787
8 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci
Ducati 01'59.097 00.794
9 5 France Johann Zarco
Honda 01'59.139 00.836
10 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati 01'59.173 00.870
11 93 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 01'59.178 00.875
12 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 01'59.640 01.337
shares
comments
Sepang MotoGP: Morbidelli edges Quartararo in FP3

Previous article

Sepang MotoGP: Morbidelli edges Quartararo in FP3

Next article

Marquez admits crash result of "copying" Quartararo

Marquez admits crash result of "copying" Quartararo
Load comments
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Prime

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the track's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP Prime

How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP

The 2020 MotoGP season was an enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if you thought the world championship was a poorer place without Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape.

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021
The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP Prime

The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP

The headlines after MotoGP's Austrian GP were naturally dominated by Brad Binder's heroics on slicks in the rain. But although seventh was, on the face of it, a fairly average result in the context of his season, that Fabio Quartararo was in contention for victory before the rain at Yamaha's worst venue should sound alarm bells for his rivals

MotoGP
Aug 17, 2021
Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem Prime

Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem

The prelude to Maverick Vinales' move to Aprilia has been his tortured exit from Yamaha. But the Spanish rider must put allegations of sabotage, suspensions and unwanted personnel changes aside once he embarks upon his new journey, while Aprilia must find a way to get Vinales firing on all cylinders once again

MotoGP
Aug 16, 2021
The MotoGP rider dilemma facing Petronas SRT for 2022 Prime

The MotoGP rider dilemma facing Petronas SRT for 2022

The final pieces of the 2022 MotoGP rider market have yet to be finalised as Petronas SRT Yamaha faces several obstacles in replacing Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli. SRT’s preferred option has been locked into a KTM deal he doesn’t want, while its other target is managed by Rossi himself and wanted at his VR46 team.

MotoGP
Aug 10, 2021