Marc Marquez was pleasantly surprised by his record time at Sepang as the Repsol Honda rider took his 13th pole of the season in the scorching heat in Malaysia.

The MotoGP world champion has set a new record of pole starts in a single season in the premier class, bettering the achievements of Mick Doohan and Casey Stoner, who each managed 12 pole position starts in 1997 and 2011 respectively.

It was also the 50th pole of Marquez's Grand Prix career as he recovered from a small spill in FP4 to surge to the top of the times with a lap in 1m 59.791s to head a Honda one-two from team-mate Dani Pedrosa by 0.182s.

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The pair were both under Marquez's pole record from 2013 and were the only riders to dip into the 1m 59s bracket as they finished first and second for the fourth time this season.

"I am very happy to have taken pole position, because the temperature out on track was very high and it was difficult to do such a good lap," said Marquez.

"This afternoon was much better after the crash and the time was really, really fast because the condition of the track was so hot. We did a fast lap, me and Dani, and I think that was impressive for everybody, but we didn't expect that.

"Dani is very fast here, we already saw this last year. This year I feel a little bit more comfortable than last year and we will try to be there and if it is the right conditions we will try to fight for the victory with him because we have a very close level," he added.

"Maybe his second part of the race will be strong so we need to concentrate and we will need to check also on Lorenzo because he will be there, especially from the beginning.

"I'm happy to have broken the record. Maybe pole positions are somewhat insignificant because they don't give you any points, but you achieve them by being the fastest rider over a single lap," said Marquez.

"That doesn't mean that you will be the fastest in the race, of course, so the most important thing is what happens tomorrow."

Marquez is targeting his 12th victory of the campaign as he bids to emulate Doohan's tally of premier class victories in a season.