Marc Marquez had to settle for second on the grid at Sepang after being comfortably outpaced by his Repsol Honda teammate, Dani Pedrosa. Marquez was four tenths off the pace but a mistake on a hot lap cost him one of his three stints in the 15 minute shootout and meant that challenging for pole was almost impossible.
"Usually I do very well on Saturday but today Dani has made a very good lap," said Marquez. " when I came the first time in the box I saw that lap and I realized it would be difficult to challenge, but in the end I think we have achieved the goal, which was to be on the front row. In terms of pace we are not wrong but here is what Malaysia is that every time you go to track the feeling is different and every time you have to adapt to it."
Having made the decision to split qualifying into three stints Marquez found himself in front of a train of traffic when he rejoined the field after somehow saving a huge slide through turn six. With one leg off the foot peg and his bike sailing towards the gravel Marquez suddenly found enough grip to stay upright and get back to the pits.
"When I got back out the problem was that it is not only Jorge that was behind. It was Iannone, Aleix, Crutchlow. I don’t remember them all but many riders. I slow down at Turn 5 and 6 after I go out of the pits but everybody was behind me. Then I say ‘OK I will push the first lap, not 100%, to try to avoid the slipstream and then on the next tyres I will push more’. Of course I did not agree to give the slipstream to all these riders, but was the only way to use three tyres. It was push, or lose one tyre."