MALAYSIAN GP - Bautista back amongst the best in qualifying

2018-11-05 17:48
Ángel Nieto Team rider to start from ninth position after ninth appearance in Q2 this season

Marc Márquez will start the Malaysian Grand Prix from pole position after posting a lap time that was well out of reach of his closest rival in a qualifying session that was delayed due to rain. Q1 started in wet conditions after a heavy and unexpected rainstorm hit the Sepang circuit. Action was held up for more than an hour as the conditions slowly improved, prompting the decision to bring the schedule forward by an hour tomorrow in the hope of avoiding similar circumstances. It means the MotoGP race will be held at 1pm local time, when Márquez will be joined on the front row by Johann Zarco and Valentino Rossi.

Álvaro Bautista was back amongst the frontrunners in MotoGP today, making Q2 for the fifth successive race. The Ángel Nieto Team rider will start from the third row of the gird after qualifying ninth fastest in the wet conditions. His teammate Karel Abraham was unfortunate to crash in FP4 when the rainstorm first hit, and the Czech rider was forced to ride in severe discomfort in Q1, with injuries to his hand and back meaning that he was unable to qualify any higher than 21st.

9th Álvaro Bautista 2’14.185: “It will be important tomorrow to see what weather we have for the race. If it is dry my feeling is good and so is my pace, so starting from the third row should allow me to fight with the lead group from the start. Physically it will be a tough race but I feel comfortable on the bike. My objective is to finish in the top ten, that is our hope. Bringing the race forward an hour to avoid the rain is a good decision in my opinion. We were lucky today that it stopped but there were times when it would have been impossible to ride.”

21st Karel Abraham 2:15.679: “Unfortunately it was not a very good day for us today. FP3 was okay, FP4 was quite good until there was an unfortunate situation when I came to turn 5 and out of nothing there was very heavy rain. I had a big crash, the bike is destroyed and I hurt myself. Luckily I didn’t break anything but I have pain in my hands, also in my back and I have a headache. I am really angry because in my opinion the marshals did not show the flags and other riders suffered even more. It happens sometimes here because the rain comes so quickly. In Europe it starts more slowly but here it can be within the space of two metres you have dry conditions and then super heavy rain. I was beaten up for qualifying and did not feel like myself. We finished up close to last place and it will be very difficult tomorrow. Hopefully I am feeling better and we can do something but we will see.”

Source: Ángel Nieto Team

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