Fabio Quartararo says Marc Marquez’s strategy of following him throughout qualifying at Sepang is “part of the game” and admits he would do the same if needed in the future.

After producing a new lap record during practice ahead of the Malaysian MotoGP, the Petronas Yamaha rider was stalked by the reigning MotoGP world champion during both his Q2 runs which resulted in Marquez suffering a heavy off-throttle highside at Turn 2 after a slow out lap which meant his rear tyre temperature dropped and lost grip.

Having gone slowly during the out lap looking to shake off the Repsol Honda rider, Quartararo says he almost suffered the same fate as Marquez due to a cold tyre but held his nerve to storm to pole position with a new lap record.

Quartararo has dismissed any lingering frustrations at Marquez’s tactics as he concedes he may try a similar strategy in the future.

“In the first run he was behind so I think if he wants to follow us it means we are doing a good job,” Quartararo said. “I think the team and me are proud of the job that we are doing this year.

“I think it is a little bit part of the game. If one day I have the possibility to do it, I will do it also, I think it is good for both riders.

“It was not very easy because on the first run I knew that Marc was behind but I didn’t have the choice. We needed to secure at least the first two rows because the clouds were quite over the track.

“We managed to get a good lap and in the second run it was really difficult as we did the out lap really slowly and I had a few moments on my first lap. Then the second one was quite tricky in the conditions but I was really happy as the lap was almost perfect, I lost the front in the last corner but in the end what matters is that we have the pole position.”

Despite seeing Marquez shuffled back to 11th place following his Q2 fall, Quartararo still expects the eight-time world champion to fight with the front-runners at Sepang against the Yamaha riders plus Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Alex Rins on the Suzuki.

“It is true that all Yamahas have a really strong pace,” he said. “I think Marc will come back for sure and Dovi has a really good pace so it will not be an easy race for us but like always we will give 100%.

“I think we have good pace too and we need to chose the tyres tomorrow morning to be sure but normally we have an idea and that’s really good.

“Marc will come back as we know he has a really strong pace. He is strong in the race. Dovi will be here, Rins I think is quite strong and I think he had a good pace. We didn’t check exactly who has a good pace but for sure they are the ones I think will be there.”

Marquez says he wasn’t singling out Quartararo for a tow in Q2 at Sepang in a qualifying which was dominated by riders looking to follow rivals for an advantage.

With Quartararo claiming his fifth pole position of the season, the French rider can become the first MotoGP rookie to take a race win in the premier class since Marquez back in 2013.