Sunday Guide for the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix

2018-11-05 16:51
MotoGP™

• Marc Márquez, who crashed for the 21st time in 2018 in Q2, has qualified on pole position for the seventh time this year. This is Márquez’ 52nd pole position in the premier class, three less than Valentino Rossi, and the 80th on what is the 185th Grand Prix race of his career.

• This is Marc Márquez’ second back-to-back pole position of the season, along with Assen and Germany.

• Marc Márquez’ last pole position at Sepang in the premier class was in 2014 on his way to win his only race in the class at this track.

• This is the tenth pole position at Sepang for a Honda rider in the MotoGP™ class since 2002, and the second in succession following Dani Pedrosa last year.

• After being given a six-place grid penalty, Márquez won’t start from pole, but from seventh on the grid.

• Johann Zarco thus starts from pole position for the third time this year along with Qatar and France. This is his third successive front row start (since Japan) and the second successive in Sepang in the MotoGP™ class. Zarco crossed the line in third last year in Malaysia, which was his second podium finish in the class.

• Valentino Rossi is second on the grid as the second-placed Yamaha rider, which is his best starting position since he was also second in Thailand. This is Rossi’s fifth front-row start of the season.

• With Johann Zarco and Valentino Rossi, this is the fourth time this year there are two Yamaha riders on the front row on the grid along with Americas, Italy and Australia, and the first time in back-to-back races since France and Italy last year. Italy 2017 was also the last Yamaha 1–2 on the grid.

• Andrea Iannone completes the front row on the grid, equalling the best starting position for a Suzuki rider at Sepang in the MotoGP™ class: John Hopkins back in 2005.

• Andrea Dovizioso, who has won the last two MotoGP™ races at Sepang, starts his 195th race in the premier class from fourth on the grid. This is the 13th time this year Dovizioso starts from the first two rows on the grid.

• Jack Miller starts from the middle of the second row, which is the third successive time he starts from the first two rows on the grid.

• Danilo Petrucci is in sixth on the grid, which is his best starting position since he was also sixth on the grid in Silverstone before the race was cancelled due to weather conditions.

• After joining Q2 from Q1 for the fourth time in 2018, Alvaró Bautista qualified in ninth on the grid, his best qualifying result since he was eighth in Aragón.

• Last Honda winner at Sepang in 2015, Dani Pedrosa has qualified in tenth, which is his best qualifying result since he was seventh in Thailand. This is the 11th time this year he failed to qualify on the first three rows on the grid.

• In Q2 for the fourth time this year, Aleix Espargaró has qualified in 12th, which is his best qualifying result since he was seventh in Assen earlier this year.

• Michele Pirro, who is replacing injured Jorge Lorenzo in the Ducati Team from FP3 on, starts from 14th on the grid, equalling his best qualifying result of the year from Misano when he was a wildcard.

• Xavier Siméon, who scored his first point in the MotoGP™ class in Australia last Sunday, qualified in 15th on the grid. He’s top rookie and it’s his best qualifying result in the class.

Moto2™

• Beating Tom Lüthi’s best lap from 2015, Álex Márquez has qualified on pole position for the third time this year – equalling last season – and the first time since Austin. He will be aiming to win for the first time since Japan last year and to become the first Spanish to do so this season.

• Only three riders have won from pole position at Sepang in the Moto2™ class: Tom Lüthi (2011), Tito Rabat (2013) and Johann Zarco (2016).

• Luca Marini has qualified in second on the grid, which is his best qualifying result since he was on pole position at Brno. This the fifth front row start in Marini’s Grand Prix career.

• Fabio Quartararo has qualified in third for the second successive year at the Malaysian GP. This is Quartararo’s fifth front row start since he stepped up to the Moto2™ class last year.

• Heading the second row on the grid is Remy Gardner, which is his best qualifying result since he was second on the grid at Silverstone (but the race was cancelled due to weather conditions).

• Mattia Pasini, who was on pole position last weekend in Australia, starts from fifth on the grid. He will be aiming to win for the fifth time on what is his 147th start in the intermediate category.

• Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia has qualified in sixth, which is his best result since he was also sixth in Thailand on his way to win his seventh race of the season. This is the 16th time this year he qualifies on the first two rows on the grid. Bagnaia has the chance to clinch his first world title at Sepang.

• Winner at Sepang last year, Miguel Oliveira, is second in the Championship and leads the third row on the grid, which is his best qualifying result since Thailand. This is the 14th time this year he has failed to qualify within the top six on the grid.

Moto3™

• Jorge Martín has qualified on pole position for the 11th time this year so far – the 20th of his Grand Prix career, beating his own record of the most pole positions in one Moto3™ season, set in Phillip Island. The last rider to have more than 11 pole positions in one season in the lightweight category is Marc Márquez with 12 in the 125cc class back in 2010. Martin finished second last year at Sepang, equalling his best result across the line at that time.

• Martín’s pole position at Sepang is the 14th for a Honda rider since the opening race in Qatar, which is one less than last year.

• Second in the Championship, Marco Bezzecchi has qualified in second as the top KTM rider, which is his best qualifying result since he was on pole position in Thailand. This is Bezzecchi’s fifth front row start of the season so far.

• Tony Arbolino is the third-fastest qualifier, which is the second front row start on what is the 35th race of his Grand Prix career, along with his pole position in Argentina earlier this year.

• Heading the second row on the grid is John McPhee, which is his best qualifying result since he was second at Motegi. He finished fifth last year at Sepang, after qualifying in third.

• Winner in Australia last Sunday, Albert Arenas has qualified in fifth on the grid, which is his best qualifying result since he was fourth at Silverstone (but the race was cancelled due to weather conditions).

• Enea Bastianini completes the second row on the grid, which is the tenth time this year he has qualified on the first two rows. Bastianini finished in third place last year at the Malaysian GP behind Martín.

• Celestino Vietti, who stood on the podium in Australia, has qualified 12th on the grid, which is his best qualifying result on what is his third Grand Prix race.

• Third in the Championship, Fabio Di Giannantonio has qualified in 13th, which is the third successive time he has failed to qualify within the top 12.

Source: Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup

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