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.