Cal Crutchlow will start Sunday's Malaysia MotoGP from eighth on the grid, having felt that a lack of straight line speed cost him the chance of a second row start.

The Englishman qualified 1.328s from a record breaking pole by Marc Marquez, 0.4s from team-mate Andrea Dovizioso (on the GP14.2) and 0.379s from a place on the second row.

"I believe we had good pace and could have been on the front two rows, but we had no straight-line speed with the bike. We struggled with that. I lost two tenths just to Andrea in straight-line speed," Crutchlow said.

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"I also lost a lot in three left-hand corners with the chatter of the bike. But the guys did a good job this morning and we went in the right direction this afternoon."

The official air temperature for qualifying was 35 degrees, with a scorching 56 degrees ground temperature.

"The track temperature was just so high," Crutchlow said. "In the test here we normally have a cooler morning. This weekend the mornings have been hot and then the track temperature just keeps building.

"By the third lap it is so much more difficult to ride just because of the tyre. The Ducati is a physically bike to ride and we have to push in the braking zone to gain time back, because every lap we lose a bit in acceleration and corner speed.

"What we are looking at is trying to calm everything down, stay consistent for the race and challenge as best as possible."

Crutchlow hopes that challenge will be for a top six place.

"There's no reason why we can't fight for a top six and it's good to be able to say that because earlier in the year we were fighting for a top 15," he said. "I'm pleased with my pace. We are too far away from the Hondas and Yamahas, but we are close to the other Ducatis and we weren't for a long time this year.

"Now it seems we are a bit more competitive. This is Andrea's favourite track. He's always good here and so I've got a good reference to see where I'm at. I'm happy enough at the moment."

Malaysia is the first of two remaining races for Crutchlow with Ducati before moving to LCR Honda.