MotoGP's Franco Morbidelli blasted to pole position for the inaugural Sepang 8 Hours endurance race by 0.793s on Thursday evening.

The ten leading teams after Qualifying 2 had advanced to the Superpole-style Top 10 Trial, held under floodlights, where each team put forward their fastest rider for one flying lap.

Quickest after Qualifying 2 meant Morbidelli was last on track and - despite being new to EWC-night riding and the Superpole format - the former Moto2 champion comfortably toppled long-time pole holder Somkiat Chantra.

The new Sepang floodlights were widely praised by riders, Jeremy Guarnori saying the lighting wasn't far off the level used by MotoGP and WorldSBK in Qatar.

Saturday's race, which is the second round of the 2019/2020 FIM Endurance World Championship, will start at 1pm.

Friday is a day off for the EWC competitors, as the cars take over the circuit. Will Morbidelli be watching tomorrow's four-wheel action? "No, I'll be at the pool!"

Morbidelli is competing for the home Sepang team, alongside fellow grand prix rider and local hero Hafizh Syahrin plus WorldSBK star Michael van der Mark. The squad are using factory bikes prepared by YART and fitted with Bridgestone tyres...

Sepang 8 Hours - Top 10 Trial
PosRider (Team)Time/Gap
1Morbidelli (Yamaha Sepang Racing)2m 5.614s
2Chantra (Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA)+0.793s
3Hook (F.C.C. TSR Honda France)+0.837s
4Guarnoni (WEBIKE SRC KAWASAKI FRANCE)+1.179s
5Reiterberger (BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM)+1.659s
6Canepa (YART - YAMAHA)+1.784s
7de Puniet (Team ERC Endurance)+1.872s
8Kamaruzaman (BMW Sepang Racing)+2.339s
9Simeon (VRD IGOL PIERRET EXPERIENCES)+2.580s
10G.Rea (Wójcik Racing Team)No Time
SEPANG 8 HOURS - QUALIFYING (COMBINED)
POSRIDERS (TEAM)AVERAGE
 Top 10 progressed to Trial, the rest line-up on the grid as follows...2m 4.429s
11Philippe/Masson/Black (Suzuki Endurance Racing Team)+3.013s
12Hoshino/Atsumi/Ishizuka (TONE RT SYNCEDGE 4413 BMW)+3.456s
13Rolfo/Mulhauser/Clere (MOTO AIN)+3.627s
14Hedelin/Masbou/Perret (TECMAS BMW GMC)+3.848s
15Leblanc/Uramoto/Tsuda (SUZUKI JEG - KAGAYAMA)+3.854s
16Szkopek/Ellison/Hanika (MACO RACING Team)+4.098s
17Stamm/Suchet/Walraven (Bolliger Team Switzerland)+4.119s
18Debise/Okubo/ (National Motos)+4.154s
19Kerschbaumer/Glöckner/Bijsterbosch (GERT56 by GS YUASA)+4.173s
20Westmoreland/Linfoot/Nigon (MOTORS EVENTS)+4.248s
21Techer/Denis/Enjolras (TATI TEAM BEAUJOLAIS RACING)+4.293s
22Boulom/Gamarino/Manfredi (Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto)+4.629s
23Scassa/Kemmer/Vitali (No Limits Motor Team)+4.669s
24Baggi/Boscoscuro/Rosso (Team Aviobike)+4.679s
25Loiseau/Hardt/Pilot (BMRT 3D MAXXESS NEVERS)+4.924s
26Lussiana/Berchet/Plancassagne (3ART- MOTO TEAM 95)+5.063s
27Yanagawa/Ito/Izutsu (KRP SANYOKOUGYOU & will raise RS-ITOH)+5.147s
28Konno/Seller/Morais (Team R2CL)+5.278s
29Sekiguchi/Sakai/Nagoe (TEAM PLUSONE)+5.686s
30Antiga/Tessels/Bonnot (Rac 41)+5.905s
31Sano/Okamura/Higashimura (TEAM HANSHIN RIDING SCHOOL)+6.091s
32Fastré/Buchner/Godfrey (MOTOTECH EWC TEAM)+6.182s
33Vincon/Bühn/Lewandowski (Team LRP Poland)+6.242s
34Pellizotti/Granzottto/De La Rosa (PITLANE ENDURANCE)+6.544s
35Kodama/Tokudome/ (Team Kodama)+6.833s
36Nekvasil/Bos/Friedrich (HRT 100 - Hertrampf Racing Endurance)+6.980s
37Thöni/Dangl/Walchhütter (Bertl K. Racing Team)+7.079s
38Szkopek/Pasek/Biesiekirski (Wójcik Racing Team 2)+7.096s
39Charpin/Diguet/Hugot (OG MOTORSPORT BY SARAZIN)+7.181s
40Dehaye/Ströhlein/Ortiz (Motobox Kremer Racing #65)+7.488s

For comparison…

Official Sepang WorldSBK records:
Best lap:
Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki 2m 2.246s (2016)
Fastest race lap:
Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki 2m 3.637s (2016)

Official Sepang MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Fabio Quartararo FRA Yamaha 1m 58.303s (2019)
Fastest race lap:
Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha 1m 59.661s (2019)
 

 

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