MotoGP: Pedrosa on pole after frantic qualifying at Sepang

Valentino Rossi

Pole was taken by Dani Pedrosa, which should leave Marquez a little happy as his main title rival - Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati - is starting behind his Honda teammate.

No, neither does anyone else-took pole at the last moment just beating the incredible Johann Zarco and the man who was fastest yesterday and fourth in FP3, Andrea Dovizioso.

The Italian walked away from the crash unscathed but never threatened the front-runners in the two qualifying sessions and will line-up on the fourth row just behind last year's race victor, British Honda rider Cal Crutchlow.

Dovizioso, riding a Ducati, said he was glad to start the race from the front ahead of Marquez who sits in the third row.

Marquez, who leads the championship standings with a 33 point advantage over second placed Dovizioso, crashed at the final turn on his first lap.

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The factory Ducati rider has been quick in both wet and dry practices this weekend but says it is more hard to know who can challenge should it rain tomorrow as the field has only had one practice - which he topped by half a second.

Honda's Dani Pedrosa topped an incredible qualifying shootout at the Sepang International Circuit, with the front row split by only 0.024 seconds.

Now it's time for the 20-lap Malaysian Grand Prix. Of course, Pedrosa's presence at the top of the grid, gives them some breathing space, but Dovizioso, the 2004 125cc world champion and a veteran of the circuit at 31, knows a thing or two about climbing places on the racing track. It was our target and we can now say we are competitive in dry and wet. "We hope Sunday's race will be dry". But qualifying didn't go quite as well as he'd have hoped.

"Then I think with the other bike the feeling was not the same".

The Italian's confidence is evident from his words. The tyre, the front tyre, left a black line on the track, first in a straight line and then an even bolder imprint as it started to grip.

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