By Lisa Lewis

Air Asia KTM Ajo rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin entered the record books by taking pole position in Moto3 qualifying at Sepang, the first of his career. He is also the first Malaysian rider to take pole in any grand prix class.

The session got off to a slow start as the riders waited in the heat for the drying track to improve, the rain that fell in the morning in Sepang causing tricky riding conditions for the Moto3 riders.

Khairuddin gave himself a great 21st birthday gift with his time of 2m 13.885 proving to be unbeatable with the Malaysian going continually faster as the session drew to a close.

Speaking after qualifying Khairrudin said he was "really happy" with his qualifying performance and "looks forward to making a great race tomorrow".

Jonas Folger starts second for Mapfre Aspar, his Kalex KTM 0.266 away from pole after looking strong all session while fellow German Sandro Cortese starts third, making a KTM/Kalex KTM clean sweep for the front row.

Cortese just needs to finish on the podium tomorrow for Red Bull Ajo team to take the first ever Moto3 title.

Louis Rossi benefited from Maverick Vinales' departure with new engine parts destined for the Blusens team given to his Racing Team Germany FTR Honda instead, he qualified fourth.

Luis Salom qualified fifth for RW Racing GP, but will be pushed back five places for his grid penalty handed out for the move that took out Folger in the last grand prix at Motegi and begins his assault as the only rider left who can challenge Cortese for the championship title from tenth.

Miguel Oliveira appeared to have a technical issue as he was pictured pushing his Estrella Galicia Suter Honda back to the pits early on, eventually qualifying sixth with Efren Vazquez heading up row three from Seventh for JHK T-shirt Laglisse and Salom's team mate Brad Binder starting eighth.

Alex Rins starts from ninth for Estrella Galicia and Adrian Martin also qualifies inside the top ten for the Laglisse Team.

Pole sitter and race winner at Motegi, Danny Kent has not shown the same good run of form in Sepang and starts eleventh for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Niccolo Antonelli was twelfth for San Carlo Gresini with Motegi podium man Alessandro Tonucci 13th , his team mate at Team Italia FMI Romano Fenati crashed early in the session and starts from 17th.

Jakub Kornfeil will start from 14th for Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta with Alberto Moncayo next making three qualifiers in the top 15 for the JHK t-shirt Laglisse team.

Danny Webb crashed out in the closing minutes and will start 25th on the Mahindra with fellow Brit John McPhee just behind him in 26th for Caretta Technology using his KRP Honda.

Vinales was not present for the session after his shock split from the Blusens Avintia team before practice and will not race for the rest of the season.


1. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL (KTM) 2m 13.885s
2. Jonas Folger GER (Kalex KTM) 2m 14.151s
3. Sandro Cortese GER (KTM) 2m 14.599s
4. Louis Rossi FRA (FTR Honda) 2m 14.681s
5. Luis Salom SPA (Kalex KTM) 2m 14.817s
6. Miguel Oliveira POR (Suter Honda) 2m 15.316s
7. Efren Vazquez SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 15.366s
8. Brad Binder RSA (Kalex KTM) 2m 15.469s
9. Alex Rins SPA (Suter Honda) 2m 15.814s
10. Adrian Martin SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 15.858s
11. Danny Kent GBR (KTM) 2m 15.897s
12. Niccol? Antonelli ITA (FTR Honda) 2m 15.913s
13. Alessandro Tonucci ITA (FTR Honda) 2m 15.915s
14. Jakub Kornfeil CZE (FTR Honda) 2m 16.087s
15. Alberto Moncayo SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 16.108s
16. Niklas Ajo FIN (KTM) 2m 16.142s
17. Romano Fenati ITA (FTR Honda) 2m 16.229s
18. Isaac Vi?ales SPA (FTR Honda) 2m 16.394s
19. Jack Miller AUS (Honda) 2m 16.404s
20. Alan Techer FRA (TSR Honda) 2m 16.633s
21. Arthur Sissis AUS (KTM) 2m 16.650s
22. Toni Finsterbusch GER (Honda) 2m 16.828s
23. Josep Rodriguez SPA (FGR Honda) 2m 16.877s
24. Alex Marquez SPA (Suter Honda) 2m 16.979s
25. Danny Webb GBR (Mahindra) 2m 17.545s
26. John Mcphee GBR (KRP Honda) 2m 17.558s
27. Giulian Pedone SWI (Suter Honda) 2m 17.732s
28. Kenta Fujii JPN (TSR Honda) 2m 17.926s
29. Armando Pontone ITA (Ioda) 2m 18.817s
30. Luca Amato GER (Kalex KTM) 2m 18.975s
31. Riccardo Moretti ITA (Mahindra) 2m 21.960s