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Sepang MotoGP: Marc Marquez denies Valentino Rossi pole as rain hits

Marc Marquez, Honda, Sepang MotoGP 2013

Marc Marquez denied Valentino Rossi a first MotoGP pole in three years as rain produced a thrilling climax to qualifying at Sepang.

Cal Crutchlow claimed third, meaning Jorge Lorenzo - who had been top as the chequered flag flew - had to settle for fourth ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Alvaro Bautista.

A sudden downpour right at the start of Q2 threw preparations into chaos, although its equally sudden finish and the high temperatures of Malaysia meant all the riders were able to brave slicks for the pole shootout.

Lorenzo still found the track treacherous, having to abandon his first run after a big moment and save at Turn 7.

In those conditions his Yamaha team-mate Rossi flew, with his first effort a full three seconds better than the rest of the field.

The track continued to dry however, meaning timing was crucial as riders found massive gains on their final runs.

Lorenzo kicked it off, jumping to top spot before improving to a 2m00.578s as the chequered flag flew.

A host of riders were on quicker laps however, including Honda's Marquez and Pedrosa who at the time were languishing down in eighth and sixth respectively.

Crutchlow and then Rossi duly demoted Lorenzo, meaning that Rossi stood on the brink of his 50th grand prix pole.

That situated lasted all of five seconds: Marquez came across in a record 2m00.011s to seal pole by three tenths of a second.

Pedrosa's lap unravelled and meant he had to settle for fifth, having set the pace in every session leading up to qualifying.

Bradley Smith, Andrea Dovizioso and Pol Espargaro who progressed through from Q1 alongside Andrea Iannone will share the third row.

Stefan Bradl did not compete in the session, and will also miss Sunday's race, after fracturing his right ankle in fourth practice.

The German fell at Turn 1 and appeared to catch his ankle in the astroturf run-off.

Pos  Rider             Team/Bike             Time       Gap
 1.  Marc Marquez      Honda                 2m00.011s
 2.  Valentino Rossi   Yamaha                2m00.336s  +0.325s
 3.  Cal Crutchlow     Tech 3 Yamaha         2m00.359s  +0.348s
 4.  Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha                2m00.578s  +0.567s
 5.  Dani Pedrosa      Honda                 2m00.692s  +0.681s
 6.  Alvaro Bautista   Gresini Honda         2m00.974s  +0.963s
 7.  Bradley Smith     Tech 3 Yamaha         2m01.306s  +1.295s
 8.  Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati                2m01.635s  +1.624s
 9.  Aleix Espargaro   Aspar Aprilia         2m02.151s  +2.140s
10.  Andrea Iannone    Pramac Ducati         2m02.536s  +2.525s
11.  Nicky Hayden      Ducati                2m02.900s  +2.889s
12.  Stefan Bradl      LCR Honda             2m01.083s  +1.072s
13.  Colin Edwards     Forward FTR-Kawasaki  2m02.858s  +2.847s
14.  Claudio Corti     Forward FTR-Kawasaki  2m03.175s  +3.164s
15.  Hector Barbera    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  2m03.212s  +3.201s
16.  Hiroshi Aoyama    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  2m03.418s  +3.407s
17.  Yonny Hernandez   Pramac Ducati         2m03.651s  +3.640s
18.  Randy de Puniet   Aspar Aprilia         2m03.805s  +3.794s
19.  Michael Laverty   PBM Aprilia           2m04.198s  +4.187s
20.  Danilo Petrucci   Ioda-Suter-BMW        2m04.310s  +4.299s
21.  Luca Scassa       Cardion Aprilia       2m05.199s  +5.188s
22.  Bryan Staring     Gresini FTR-Honda     2m06.038s  +6.027s
23.  Lukas Pesek       Ioda-Suter-BMW        2m06.203s  +6.192s
24.  Damian Cudlin     PBM-Aprilia           2m06.273s  +6.262s
Daytona Competition
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