SEPANG, Malaysia – Fabio Quartararo gave Petronas Yamaha SRT a pole on the team’s home turf during qualifying Saturday for the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sepang Int’l Circuit.
Quartararo led a Yamaha sweep of the front row thanks to his pole-winning 1:58.303 lap. Monster Energy Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales qualified second, while Quartararo’s teammate Franco Morbidelli come home a solid third.
The drama came as riders were making their second runs during Q2, with Marc Marquez following Quartararo out on to the track in an effort to get a tow to improve his lap time.
Quartararo knew Marquez was there and tried to lose him before eventually making his run at the pole. Marquez was forced to deal with the Ducati bike of Danilo Petrucci as he tried to latch on to the back of Quartararo.
Marquez got crossed up in turn one as he tried to keep pace with Quartararo, but he managed to make the corner. The same couldn’t be said in turn two, as Marquez crashed his Repsol Honda to bring an end to his qualifying session.
The crash meant Marquez would be unable to turn another fast lap in qualifying, forcing him to start Sunday’s race from the 11th position.
Meanwhile, Quartararo powered to his fifth pole of the season for Petronas Yamaha SRT with his Yamaha brethren in tow.
Jack Miller headlined the second row for Pramac Racing, followed by LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi. Alex Rins, Petrucci, Johann Zarco and Andrea Dovizioso completed the top-10.