Alex Marquez took his third pole of the season while the track was in optimum condition near the start of the session as he completed a perfect start to the Moto2 Malaysian Grand Prix weekend - topping every session ahead of race day.

A late crash after running wide at turn one was a small blip for The EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider, who has not been on pole since round three in Austin, his blistering early pace ensured he remained unchallenged.

The Spaniard’s new record lap of 2m 05.629s was nearly half a second better than his rivals at the chequered flag.

Luca Marini chipped away at the target time to rise to second for Sky Racing Team VR46, with Fabio Quartararo happy with his consistent race pace as he also found some late improvements to hold on to his front row start for Speed Up.

Remy Gardner (Tech 3) topped the timesheets at the start, his best lap also dipped under the old lap record before being smashed by Marquez, but remained good enough for fourth at the close of play.

Australia’s polesitter Mattia Pasini couldn’t repeat the feat and starts fifth for Italtrans.

Francesco Bagnaia has the chance to take the Moto2 title again this weekend and will start his charge from sixth. The Sky Racing Team VR46 rider had a session of mind games with his championship rival Miguel Oliveira, with the pair riding slowly on track and risking being penalised as they refused to give each other a follow. The confident Italian finished his session sat in the pits as progress became hard to come by.

Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) finished just behind the Italian with the next best time in seventh but will need to get ahead in the race to keep his title shot alive.

Brad Binder is well placed to help his Red Bull colleague out in ninth, with Xavi Vierge sandwiched between the KTM’s on the third row for Dynavolt Intact GP.

Marcel Schrotter was pushed back to tenth by his team-mate’s late pace.

Joan Mir may have been a podium finisher in Australia, but he struggled around Sepang - the Marc VDS rider was still the best of the rookies in 18th.

Sam Lowes fell at turn eight midway through the session, hampering his progress after showing top ten pace in FP3. The crash diminished his track time and left the Brit down in a disappointing 21st as the session drew to a close.

Khairul Idham Pawi (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) qualified for his home race in 25th.

Dimas Ekky Pratama returns to the intermediate class to replace the injured Bo Bendsneyder at Tech 3. He will start his third Moto2 race from 28th.

Rafid Topan Sucipto, a regular in the 2013 season, replaces the injured Stefano Manzi (fractured wrist from Phillip Island crash). The Forward Racing Team bike still took a tumble, leaving the Indonesian last and almost five seconds off pole pace.



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