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Moto2 Malaysia: Rabat secures pole at sweltering Sepang

Esteve Rabat took pole position in Saturday's qualifying session for the Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix increasing his Moto2 pole record to ten as he held off his only remaining rival Mika Kallio.
Moto2 champion elect Esteve Rabat will start Sunday's Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix from pole positon.

Getting off the mark with a fast lap early proved to be the key to qualifying success, as the top three riders all set their best laps in the opening minutes, Rabat leading the way with a best of 2m 07.429 on just his third lap of Sepang.

The Marc VDS rider was still very calculated and consistent in his approach, but took a rare trip back to his pit garage to split up his session and still appeared exhausted in parc ferme.

The only rider who can prevent Rabat picking up the title tomorrow, team-mate Mika Kallio, is well placed to give his best from second on the grid, again feeling the heat stating he would like to go 'straight to Finland' to recover from the Malaysian heat.

Sandro Cortese returns to the front row for Dynavolt Intact GP in third, a clean sweep of the front row for Kalex, with Cortese again crediting a cooler start matched with a good lap rhythm as key to his performance.

Maverick Vinales was one of just a handful of late movers up the timesheets, moving into fourth for Paginas Amarillas HP 40 in the closing stages after dropping as low as twelfth.

Tom Luthi continued his strong second half of the season in fifth for Interwetten and is the top Suter qualifier.

A last lap dash pushed Taka Nakagami into sixth for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia, finishing narrowly ahead on time from Italtrans rider Julian Simon, who found himself pushed back to row three in seventh.

Johann Zarco starts from eighth for AirAsia Caterham, Dominique Aegerter also left it until the flag to find a little something extra for ninth with Axel Pons time from his third lap held strong to be good enough to just keep him inside the top ten for AGR Team.

Sam Lowes was the best of the British riders in 15th for Speed Up, with all the top 16 less than a second off Rabat's top time. Gino Rea starts 21st for AGT REA Racing.

Hafizh Syahrin was the best placed home rider for Petronas Raceline Malaysia in 18th. Azlan Shah starts 29th Idemitsu Honda Team Asia.

Moto2's sole wild-card Thai rider Decha Kraisart qualified 32nd for Singha Eneos Yamaha Tech 3

Mattia Pasini was the first to send his bike into the scenery sending his Forward Racing machine smashing through the gravel in the opening minutes, he did not return to set a time. Lorenzo Baldassarri needed help to get started and return to the pits, Ricky Cardus also failed to go the distance without a fall.

Thitipong Warokorn also crashed, fellow Thailand representative Ratthapark Wilairot developed an issue with his Caterham Suter late on and pulled back into the pits.
by Lisa Lewis

Tagged as: moto2 , Rabat

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