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Dani Pedrosa has taken his first MotoGP pole since Barcelona in June, after a frenetic Sepang qualifying that saw team-mate and title leader Marc Marquez fall on his way to seventh.

Marquez had earlier saved a massive front-end slide in final practice, but when the front folded again on entry to the hairpin on his opening qualifying lap there was no bringing it back.

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The Repsol Honda rider, who holds a 33-point lead over Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso with two rounds to go, later returned on the same hard-soft tyre combination and - a few more action-packed moments - slotted into third place.

But the final three minutes would see five different changes of pole position alone - first Pedrosa went top, then Valentino Rossi, Dovizioso and Johann Zarco before it was finally settled in Pedrosa's favour with a 1m 59.212s on his last lap.

Marquez also posted his best time on the final lap, but was left 0.482s from Pedrosa and will start on the third row.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's rookie star Johann Zarco was a mere 0.017s from pole for his third front row start in as many races, with Dovizioso delighted to have also delivered a 1m 59.2s, just 0.024s from Pedrosa.

Rossi and Movistar Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales will be joined on row two by Dovizioso's Ducati team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, with Suzuki riders Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone alongside Marquez on row three.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) slipped down the order to tenth after a fall, leaving him just ahead of good friend Jack Miller (Marc VDS Honda) and KTM's Pol Espargaro.

Rins and Espargaro had reached Qualifying 2 by heading the Qualifying 1 session.

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Dani will be a road block. This guy is so inconsistent he ruins the racing for the big boys. Time to hang up the leathers.

Yet he outqualified an old geezer who has even less wins and also hasn't won a title since 09 who's being shown the door by 2 rookies one of whom is riding a second rate bike from 2016 with zero development parts this year. Guess he has to retire first

With the exception of 2016 when he missed several races due to injury, Dani has always finished in the top 4 of the championship since 2007. That's consistency.

Danni isn't the hottest in the first few laps,the youngsters etc will probably all pass him,unless he gets one of his rocket starts and manages to gap everyone quickly,wether he can I win it though ?

lf it's dry Pedrosa could have one of those days when no one can catch him, he's good at this circuit and on hot weather he makes the tyres last. If it rains it will be bad for him.

Tarcan sees Dani riding in World Supersport in his dreams while lying sedated in his care home. But apparently he had time to change his name to SMARTYMARTY to get on here before they put the straight jacket on to take him away. 

A lot of Rossi haters here, SENNAFTW, MRFILL sad fools. Rossi has 115 wins & counting!! 7 premier class Moto Gp world titles that includes a 500 two stroke title and back to back world titles on two different manufacturers. Ain't no one going to beat that. He is the richest motorcycle racer in the world so he will be wiping his tears with money after all the insults by SENNAFTW & UCCIO IS STILL...

Dumbass trolls!

Wow, VR really your god. Can't argue with you. Because god allowed to make mind game, take down another rider and lose as frequent as he like even on the best bikes without loosing his followers.