Cal Crutchlow will start tomorrow's Malaysian MotoGP from the front row following a tense qualifying face-off at Sepang.

A heavy cloudburst minutes before Q2 left riders facing tricky conditions in the 15-minute session, with damp patches still remaining on some corners.

Yamaha Tech 3 star Crutchlow headed the times from Dani Pedrosa at the half-way stage and held on for third place after upping his pace on the YZR-M1 on the final lap on a drying circuit, with the 27-year-old's time of 2m 00.359s leaving him 0.348s behind pole-sitter Marc Marquez.

Related Articles

It was Crutchlow's seventh front row start of the season and the British rider was delighted with his performance.

"I am really happy to be back on the front row because it was not an easy session at all. It was hard with a dark visor to see where the track was wet and in some corners it was pretty tricky," he said.

"It was a bit of a lottery with the damp sections and I think it came down to who was willing to take the most risks right at the end when the track was improving.

"Today's result is a great reward for my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew because they have done a brilliant job giving me a very competitive package this weekend."

Crutchlow was somewhat surprised by the pain he has been suffering in his right arm this weekend, which he first injured in a spill at Silverstone.

"It has been tough for me physically because of the pain coming from my right arm. I first damaged it at Silverstone but the pain has been pretty bad this weekend and I'm a bit surprised because I felt nothing in Misano and Aragon," he said.

"The swelling is pretty big but I am really motivated for tomorrow's race. It is going to be a very tough race in the heat and humidity but hopefully I can put up a good fight.

"It will be hard for the tyres as well because 20-laps is a long race and the tyres have been going off quite quickly."

Crutchlow was only 0.023s behind Valentino Rossi on the Factory Yamaha in second and 0.219s ahead of defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo in fourth.