MotoGP 2017: Pedrosa claims Sepang pole ahead of Zarco and Dovizioso

Valentino Rossi

"Also I did a not do a good lap, and for that reason we are seventh".

The Spaniard starts with a 33-point lead over his only serious rival, Italian Andrea Dovizioso, who is fighting for his first world title.

The 24-year-old crashed his Repsol Honda in his first flying lap of the session on Saturday, and was forced to use his spare bike, which just magnified the discomfort he was enduring, trying to manage his twitchy bike fast enough around the corners.

Claiming the remaining top-10 positions during 2017 Sepang MotoGP qualifying on Saturday were Marquez, Team Suzuki Ecstar's Alex Rins, Rins' teammate Andrea Iannone and LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow.

"I had to take my second bike but I didn't feel ideal on it, so I did a la that was good but not good enough", said Marquez, still not content with this qualifying position. "This morning we made a small mistake with the setup and lost the direction a little bit".

"But then Rossi, Zarco, Vinales, Dovizioso, myself... we have similar pace".

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"We'll try and get the best result, and then we'll see what happens with Marc and the other riders. We had a question mark in the dry, but in FP4 the bike work very well with the used tyre so I am very happy for the race tomorrow".

"Malaysia is one of the most hard tracks, the arrangement of the motorbikes will make a difference. Maybe the hot conditions, maybe because you need to ride very smooth and I'm an aggressive rider", he said.

"I had to take my second bike but I didn't feel ideal on it, so I did a lap that was good but not good enough".

"Here the rider has a lot to drink over the weekend, the track is hard, I have difficulty adapting to food, sunshine", explains team-mate Marc Marquez. Marquez has no problem getting to the front, and if he can sustain his usual speed, he'll clinch the title one round early.

"I'm very happy with this pole, which is our third this year".

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