Brad Binder has come out of nowhere to sneak in a late lap time and snatch pole position from Jorge Navarro and Francesco Bagnaia for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix, in a rain-hit session that saw the red flags come out.
Navarro looked like the smart man after setting a fast time early on only to see the rain start, with a torrential downpour heavy enough to briefly bring out the red flags looking likely to end anyone else’s chances of going faster.
But with ultra-grippy new tar at the Sepang circuit, Bagnaia was brave enough to push on in the second half of the session, forcing Navarro to respond with fast laps of his own.
It looked settled going into the final seconds of the session with the Honda man ahead of the Mahindra rider, but a late lap from Binder, making up all his time in the final sector, came out of nowhere and gave the new world champion yet another pole position.
"To be honest, on the last run in qualifying I didn’t feel quite right, but when I saw the team put on the board that I could have improved my time, I thought it was time to try to set a good time and go for pole position. I am very happy, I’ve felt very strong in all conditions and also the team have done a great job and provided me with a perfect bike. Getting pole in wet conditions is unbelievable."