Jules Cluzel survived a spat on track with Lorenzo Zanetti late in the single qualifying session at Sepang to claim his second pole position of the season on the ever-improving three-cylinder MV Agusta F3. He is the first rider to score more than one pole so far in 2014.
The French rider was only 0.093 seconds ahead of Scotland’s Kev Coghlan (DMC Panavto-Yamaha), who once again showed he is a man to watch for the season. On his first Sepang visit, in contrast to the vastly experienced ex-GP rider Cluzel, Coghlan was close to his second pole of 2014, as he held off championship leader Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda) for second.
More technical issues held back the push of Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India) back to fourth, while another top ex-GP rider, Roby Rolfo (Kawasaki GO Eleven) secured fifth, ahead of Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda).
Zanetti brought out the ire in Cluzel who felt that that the Italian had held him back, during a potentially faster lap than the one that still gave him pole. The gesticulations were predictably gallic and emotional as the riders headed back to the pits.
Local wild card rider Zaqhwan Zaidi (Sepang International Circuit Racing Honda) rode his ten Kate prepared and supplied Honda to seventh, ahead of Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) and Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda), who was ninth fastest.