Loris Capirossi may be leaving Rizla Suzuki at the end of this season, but the Italian proved he isn't just going through the motions by braving the pain to qualify ninth at Sepang on Saturday.
Capirossi crashed on his first lap during Saturday morning's final practice session, after being kicked off his GSV-R at high speed, and was taken from the trackside by stretcher.
The former Sepang MotoGP winner was immediately transferred to the medical centre where an x-ray, and further investigations by the Clinica Mobile, found no fractures to his injured right foot.
“The Malaysian Grand Prix weekend has been absolutely horrible for Loris so far. This morning's crash was very violent and very painful and it was amazing that he managed to get back out there this afternoon," said team manager Paul Denning.
Capirossi was diagnosed with severe bruising to the heel and ankle area, but went on to lap just under one-second from pole and a tenth behind team-mate Alvaro Bautista.
"He can't bear any weight on his right foot, so for him to qualify on the third row is simply an heroic achievement. Race distance is going to be very tough, but we thank Loris for his efforts today and hope that his condition is much improved tomorrow morning," Denning added.
Eighth was rookie Bautista's best qualifying in MotoGP, but he was still a little disappointed.
“It's strange because this has been my best qualifying position of the season but I feel like it is not enough," he said.
"I used a new rear tyre at the end of the session and improved my lap-time and in the last lap I made a mistake in T2, but my T1 and T3 was better than my fastest lap so maybe I could have improved my time and been further up the grid.
"The time between first and me is not too big and if I can get a good start tomorrow I think I can stay with the group in front and follow them - the first laps here will be very important so I must make the most of them.”