Marquez on pole for Malaysian Grand Prix

Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:57pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Championship leader Marc Marquez continued his brilliant MotoGP rookie season by claiming pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix while his main rivals were consigned to the second row at a wet Sepang on Saturday.

The 20-year-old Honda rider's time of two minutes 0.011 seconds on his seventh and final lap was the quickest ever at the circuit and gave him his eighth pole of the season and a fourth in a row.

"I'm really happy with this pole position particularly as earning it was a little different to my previous poles," Marquez told

"At the start of qualifying there were two completely wet corners which made it hard to put in a hot lap as we had to calculate the amount of risk whilst still maintaining our speed.

"I knew the final lap of the session would be definitive because the surface was drying out and conditions were getting better by the minute," said Marquez.

"Things worked out for us and I set a time I really wasn't expecting."

The Spaniard will be joined on the front row by the Yamahas of Italy's seven-times champion Valentino Rossi (2.00.336) and Briton Cal Crutchlow (2.00.359).

Marquez is looking for his seventh win of the year on Sunday and to extend his 39-point championship lead over compatriot Jorge Lorenzo with just three more races left in the season after Malaysia.

LORENZO FOURTH   Continued...

Honda Moto GP rider Marc Marquez of Spain takes a curve during the qualifying session of the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Sepang circuit outside Kuala Lumpur October 12, 2013. REUTERS/Samsul Said