Rain forecast to arrive before race start at 1800 AEDT
Dani Pedrosa starts from pole for the third time in 2017 and for the first time since the Catalan Grand Prix. This is the first time since 2012 that Pedrosa has had more than two poles in a single season. Pedrosa missed the Malaysian Grand Prix last year due to injury, but he has won in Sepang three times in the previous four years.
Pedrosa is aiming for his 54th Grand Prix victory, which have all been taken on a Honda. A victory would equal Mick Doohan’s record number of wins riding Honda machinery.
Johann Zarco starts from the front row for the third successive race and for the fifth time in his rookie season in the MotoGP class. Zarco has won the Moto2 race in Sepang for the last two years.
Andrea Dovizioso starts from the front row for just the fourth time in 2017. He has had two wins and a third place finish from his previous three front row starts this year.
Heading the second row is Valentino Rossi, who has nine podium finishes, including four wins, from his eleven starts in Sepang riding a Yamaha.
In fifth place on the grid is Maverick Viñales, who could equal Dani Pedrosa’s record of winning in all three classes in Sepang, having won the 125cc race at this circuit in 2011 and the Moto2 race in 2014.
Completing the second row is Jorge Lorenzo, who has finished on the podium at Sepang on his last six appearances, but has never had a race victory at this circuit in the MotoGP class.
After a crash in qualifying, Marc Marquez heads the third row of the grid. This is just the second time in his 88 starts in the MotoGP class that he has failed to qualify on either the first or second row. The other occasion was when he qualified 13th in Mugello in 2015. Marquez has not had a race win on the five previous occasions he has failed to qualify in the top five places in the MotoGP class.
Alex Rins starts from eighth place on the grid, which is his best qualifying result so far in his rookie season in the MotoGP class.
Taking the final place on the third row is Andrea Iannone, who has not managed to complete a race at Sepang during his four years competing in the MotoGP class.
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