Mighty 80th career pole for Marquez at rainy Sepang, but he’ll start from third row. Pedrosa in 10th place

Today Marc Marquez took an historic 80th pole position across all classes, despite the tricky conditions that affected qualifying day at Sepang. Nonetheless, he’ll start tomorrow’s race from seventh place on the grid after being sanctioned with a six-place penalty.

Fair weather is rarely an enduring condition in Malaysia. After enjoying two sunny sessions yesterday and a further dry FP3 stint this morning (in which Dani Pedrosa advanced from 11th to fourth place, earning a direct passage to Q2), the MotoGP field encountered the weekend’s first rain in FP4, ultimately topped by Marquez.

That shower was just a warning, as heavy rain soon followed, forcing Race Direction to postpone qualifying proceedings by over an hour. Q2 started at 4:30 p.m. and Marc was able to set a time that proved untouchable for his opponents, despite the fact that a tumble at turn four in the final minutes of the session prevented him from further improving. Dani ended the session in 10th place.

The unfavourable weather forecast for tomorrow afternoon prompted Race Direction to also reschedule Sunday’s proceedings, moving the Moto3 race up to 10 a.m., the Moto2 race to 11:20 a.m. and the MotoGP race to 1 p.m. local time.

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