Alex Marquez smashes qualifying record to claim pole at Sepang
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider was in superb form for his third pole position of the season with teammate Joan Mir qualifying eighteenth for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Alex Marquez and Joan Mir completed qualifying for the Malaysian GP in cloudy but warm and dry conditions at the 5.5 km Sepang International Circuit.
Alex Marquez extended his dominance of practice with the fastest time in FP3, as he had done in FP1 and FP2. The Spaniard then put in a record smashing performance in qualifying with an early time attack on lap three to post a stunning time of 2’05.629 which was.a massive 0.7s under the previous qualifying record from 2015 set by Tom Luthi. Despite a harmless front-end fall at turn one late in the session Marquez secured his first pole since the Grand Prix of the Americas in April.
Joan Mir completed the morning FP3 session in a positive mood with the 11th fastest time. However the qualifying session did go smoothly for the Moto2 rookie and he struggled in the ideal conditions and was disappointed to qualify 18th on the sixth row with a time of 2’07.251.
The warm-up session will be at 9:10am with the 18 lap race, round 18 of the Moto2 World Championship, scheduled for 1:20pm.
Alex Marquez: 1st, 2’05.629, 27 laps, 149 km
“I am so happy to get this pole position after so long”
“It was good lap but I didn’t expect 2’05.6 and be so far under the record, I was impressed by that and I am so happy to get this pole position after so long. But this track can be tricky and it is easy to make a mistake so I want to stay calm with my feet on the ground for the race. The weather is also factor, some forecasts say it will rain so I will need to pay attention, get a good rhythm in the warm-up and take my opportunity in the race.”
Joan Mir: 18th, 2’07.251, +1.622, 29 laps, 160 km
“I want to fight for the top positions in the race”
“This was a really difficult qualifying session especially since I had a very good feeling after FP3. But then something happened with the heat and I could not make a good lap. I was pushing but I could not do a faster time. Now we have to understand the problem and improve the feeling with the bike so that I can fight for the top positions in the race tomorrow.”