Round 18Malaysia

  • Marquez 11th Fastest After Sepang Tumble

    World Champion Marc Marquez will start the Malaysian Grand Prix from 11th on the grid after a nasty tumble during the qualifying session.


Marquez 11th Fastest After Sepang Tumble, Crutchlow Fifth

SEPANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, Malaysia, November 2, 2019

World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) will start tomorrow's Malaysian Grand Prix from 11th on the grid after a nasty tumble during this afternoon's qualifying session. The 26-year-old was battered and bruised in the fall but walked away and will be fit to race.

Marquez, who won his 11th victory of the year in Australia last Sunday, was chasing Fabio Quartararo in the hunt for pole position when he was thrown from his machine as he entered Turn Two in the final minutes of the 15-minute Q2 outing. Until then he had been enjoying a good weekend, working steadily towards getting the best machine set-up for what is certain to be a torrid race in tropical conditions.

The six-times MotoGP king was a close third fastest at the end of the first three practice sessions, less than half a second off the fastest rider. Last year he won the race here with a dominant display aboard his RC213V.

Marquez secured the 2019 MotoGP Riders World Championship at last month's Thailand Grand Prix and helped Honda take its 25th premier-class Constructors World Championship at the subsequent Japanese GP.

While Marquez returned to his garage, Honda's top qualifier was Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) who had an excellent start to the afternoon when he topped the Q1 session to promote himself to the Q2 outing. The 34-year-old Briton, who finished a superb second to Marquez last Sunday, qualified fifth quickest to start the penultimate race of the year from the center of the second row.

Crutchlow is enjoying a great conclusion to his 2019 season, with second-row starts at the last three races aboard his RC213V. Tomorrow he will aim for his fourth podium result of the year.

HRC was delighted with the performance of Johann Zarco (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V), who is riding the bikes of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V), who is recovering from surgery. This is Zarco's second weekend aboard the Japanese rider's 2018-spec RC213V machines, but his first Grand Prix in Australia was largely disturbed by ever-changing weather conditions.

Today the 29-year-old Frenchman finished FP3 tenth fastest to go direct into Q2, which he ended ninth fastest, which puts him on the third row. It was an impressive display from a rider still learning the finer details of his equipment.

Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) had another challenging Saturday, qualifying 18th, shortly after suffering his first crash since his accident at June's Dutch TT, which caused him to miss four races. The three-times MotoGP World Champion ran wide at Turn One in FP4 and was thrown off his RC213V at slow speed. He was unhurt and will go into tomorrow's race chasing his first World Championship points since the San Marino Grand Prix.

Cal Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow

Moto2 World Championship leader Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) will start tomorrow's Moto2 race from pole position with the clear aim of wrapping up this year's Moto2 World Champion. The former Moto3 champion topped a tricky session, with raindrops falling here and there.

The 23-year-old younger brother of Marc goes into the penultimate race of 2019 holding a 28-point advantage over Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex), who will start this vital race from fifth on the grid; and a 33-point lead over Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM), who qualified third fastest, 0.315 seconds behind Marquez. Between them on the front row will be Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team Kalex).

Marquez needs a strong race to secure the title ahead of on-form Luthi and Binder who have both out-scored the leader over the last three races. If Marquez does win the championship it will be the second time he has won a world crown in the same year as his brother. In 2014 they became the sport's first simultaneous sibling World Champions when they took the Moto3 and MotoGP titles. 

Marquez's team-mate Xavi Vierge (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) was fourth fastest to lead the second row, just 0.019 seconds ahead of Luthi. The second row is completed by Binder's rookie team-mate and 2018 Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) who achieved his first Moto2 podiums in the last two races in Japan and Australia.

Grand Prix rookie Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, Kalex) had a hectic day. The 20-year-old Thai slid off at Turn Nine during the Q1 session while setting a very fast pace. Although he was unable to complete more laps his second lap of the 15-minute outing was enough to take him into Q2. Chantra set the 18th fastest lap, but will start the race from 21st, due to a sanction imposed following an incident in last Sunday's Australian GP.

Chantra's team-mate Dimas Ekky Pratama (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) is still working his way back up to speed after a long mid-season layoff due to injury. The 27-year-old Indonesian qualified 27th this afternoon.

Moto3 pole position went to Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), who took the second pole of his career and the second in one week! This was an especially tricky qualifying session, with light rain falling at some parts of the track throughout much of Q2.

The 21-year-old Spaniard timed his end-of-session attack perfectly. Like many riders he waited until the rain had eased before returning to the track for his final run, commencing his last lap just a second or two before the checkered flag came out. That last lap put him at the top of an all-Honda front row, 0.127 seconds ahead of San Marino GP Tatsuki Suzuki (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) and a further 0.105 seconds ahead of French GP winner John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW).

Last Sunday in Australia Ramirez finished the race in the slipstream of winning team-mate Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), whose third victory of 2019 won him the Moto3 Riders World Championship and secured the Constructors World Championship for Honda.

Seventh-fastest Dalla Porta will start tomorrow's Moto3 race from the all-Honda third row of the grid after missing row two by just 0.011 seconds. The 22-year-old Italian will chase another win while doing what he can to help team-mate Ramirez, who currently lies fourth overall in the points standings.

McPhee's team-mate Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) was eighth, which puts him on the middle of the third row, alongside ninth-quickest Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW). Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) completes the top ten.

Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) will have to work extra hard in the race after qualifying 14th, the 18-year-old from Saitama struggling to get close to the front of the grid at recent races.

Team-mate Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) had an even more complicated day, sliding off in the early stages of the Q2 session, which left him unable to complete a lap. The 19-year-old from Fukuoka will therefore start from 17th, alongside Niccolo Antonelli (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) who is hampered by recent injury.

This weekend's Malaysian GP is the last of three Grands Prix on consecutive weekends and the penultimate round of 2019. The season concludes at Valencia, Spain, on November 17.

Alex Marquez

Alex Marquez



Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: 5th, 1m 58.951s

"I didn't really feel much better with the qualifying setting we've got which I why we've not been to consistent in qualifying this year, having to come through Q1 quite a few times. Today we worked well with used tires in FP4 and made a big improvement in qualifying. I'm happy with the second row – I followed Marc to get that lap time. Tomorrow is going to be a long and hard race. So many guys have got a good pace, so it's one of those races where you could easily find yourself between first and fifth or between 12th and 15th. A lot will depend on what tires people choose. We are struggling with grip and we need to improve that for tomorrow."

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 11th, 1m 59.178s

"I'm ok, I'm in a lot of pain all over my body after a big crash. We have a good setting for race rhythm, but we were struggling a little bit with one fast lap and especially looking for something more in the change of directions. The tires were ready but I was maybe a little too aggressive in the change of direction. Honestly, I'm more disappointed starting 11th than with the crash itself. From 11th it will be difficult, even if we did have a good rhythm in FP4. This season we have had 17 almost perfect qualifying practices, but we will see what we can do tomorrow."

Johann Zarco, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 9th, 1m 59.139s

"I'm quite happy about today – I wanted go straight through to Q2 and do my best to improve my qualifying laps. I did that, even though sometimes I can go fast other times not so fast. On my fastest lap it was very interesting to follow Valentino (Rossi), using him and a reference and trying to catch him. Maybe I lost one or two tenths in the last corner, but ninth position is good. We will see how the race goes tomorrow. The engine of this bike is so fast, so I will try to use it well and be strong on the brakes to overtake the others. I started to learn this bike in Australia. Now I am trying to use it better, to try to ride it in the best way. I still feel I can go faster with the bike. I'm looking forward to the race – I've had some good results here and my riding feels natural here."

Jorge Lorenzo, Repsol Honda Team: 18th, 2m 00.478s

"It was a very strange crash today, quite unpredicted because I braked a little too late and then ran on. When I entered the tarmac outside of T1, the front just closed like there was no grip and I got flipped over. Fortunately, I wasn't injured. In Q1 I used the second bike but I think we went in slightly the wrong direction with the setting. I equaled my best lap time from the weekend, but everyone else improved. We are closer to the front than before and I'm looking to reduce the gap we had in Motegi."


Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 1st, 2m 05.244s

"That was important and tricky! The conditions were really difficult. At the beginning of Q2 it started raining a little bit so on the first lap I just tried to check the track out and my time was already a good one. Then on the second I saw some riders in front and thought, ‘OK, now I need to push.' That was the key of this qualifying. I did a good lap. In terms of rhythm I think we made a step this morning. We have to be ready for everything tomorrow. All my rivals are so close and have good pace. I will try to get a good start, ride with intensity from the beginning and do our own race. This weekend I feel freer on the bike and I'm enjoying it a lot. We're still missing something but I think we can fight for the victory and we need to enjoy tomorrow."

Tetsuta Nagashima, ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team: 2nd, 2m 05.395s

"We are on the front row again and this is a great feeling – my big thanks to the team for all the help, because this is such a tough weekend for everyone, from the riders to the mechanics. Once again I know I have the pace for the podium, so this will be our target tomorrow: to get our first podium of the year. Let's go!"

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Ajo: 3rd, 2m 05.559s

"It's been a very positive day and I'm happy to be on the front row of the grid. It was a pity that I had no chance for a clear lap, because there was quite some traffic on track, but in general it's a good result. With the tricky weather conditions we had, being up front is great. Tomorrow we'll try to push from the beginning and see how far we can go."

Somkiat Chantra, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 18th, 2m 06.807s

"I expected a better grid position, but globally I'm happy with the work we've done today. In FP3 I finished very close to the riders who went directly to Q2. In Q1 I was fourth, again with a good lap time, despite a small crash. But in Q2 I had problems to be fast, and some spots of rain at the first three corners made it more complicated. Anyway, the race is tomorrow, and I feel we're ready."

Dimas Ekky Pratama, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 27th, 2m 07.058s

"Our working plan was clear – we are thinking technically about the race and I'm adapting my riding style to the conditions. I'm recovering my confidence and I'm improving my laps time a lot, so now the gap with the top 15 is much smaller. Tomorrow I want to concentrate to finish the race with a good result."


Marcos Ramirez, Leopard Racing: 1st, 2m 11.758s

"The weather conditions were tricky, with a few spots of rain falling. This pole position is better than last weekend's because the weather wasn't good in Australia, so this pole feels more real. I am ready for the race; my pace is good and we will see that we can do in the race. Lorenzo won the championship last Sunday, so I hope that he can help me here and at Valencia to try and get second in the championship!"

Tatsuki Suzuki, Sic58 Squadra Corse: 2nd, 2m 11.885s

"We did our best for pole and we nearly got it – but anyway we are very happy to be on the front row of the grid, especially since we qualified fourth at the last two races. The Hondas are fast here, but the race will be complicated, with a big group of riders at the front using the slipstream. It will be important to look after your tires and wait until the last few laps to plan your strategy."

John McPhee, Petronas Sprinta Racing: 3rd, 2m 11.990s

"Yesterday I was so disappointed to be P24 when we had the pace to be at the front, so it's very nice to be able to turn it around for the team's home Grand Prix. The conditions were really tricky, with rain falling the whole way around the circuit - and I was still able to do my fastest lap of the weekend! After that, it kept coming down and I saw a few guys nearly crash in front of me so I knew there wouldn't be much opportunity to improve. I know I can fight tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to the race. It's an important one for the team but we've been at the front fighting for the win for half a season, so I'm just going to try and treat it like a normal event. My pace is really strong on used tires, so let's see what we can do."

Ai Ogura, Honda Team Asia: 14th, 2m 12.797s

"We did a big change from yesterday to today, and I was able to attack the corners as I like. Of course, my grid position is not as good as I expected, but in general, everything is going much better than in Phillip Island or Motegi. We should continue working in this direction and try to keep like this."

Kaito Toba, Honda Team Asia: 17th, 2m 12.466s

"I made a big mistake crashing on my first lap in Q2, but we are optimistic for tomorrow. Yesterday we worked very well preparing for the race, and I have a good pace. I'm convinced that we are competitive and all the options are open for tomorrow's race."



MotoGP World Championship 2019
Round 18: Malaysia Qualifying

MotoGP Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Fabio QUARTARARO (Petronas Yamaha SRT)
2 Maverick VIÑALES (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
3 Franco MORBIDELLI (Petronas Yamaha SRT)
4 Jack MILLER (Pramac Racing)
6 Valentino ROSSI (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
8 Danilo PETRUCCI (Ducati Team)
10 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
11 Marc MÁRQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
12 Francesco BAGNAIA (Pramac Racing)
14 Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
15 Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
16 Karel ABRAHAM (Reale Avintia Racing)
17 Andrea IANNONE (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
18 Jorge LORENZO (Repsol Honda Team)
19 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
20 Hafizh SYAHRIN (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)

Moto2 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
3 Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
4 Xavi VIERGE (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
5 Thomas LUTHI (Dynavolt Intact GP)
6 Jorge MARTIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
7 Sam LOWES (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
8 Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)
10 Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
11 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (Beta Tools Speed Up)
12 Iker LECUONA (American Racing KTM)
13 Stefano MANZI (MV Agusta Temporary Forward)
14 Enea BASTIANINI (Italtrans Racing Team)
15 Jorge NAVARRO (Beta Tools Speed Up)
16 Jesko RAFFIN (NTS RW Racing GP)
17 Augusto FERNANDEZ (Flexbox HP 40)
18 Somkiat CHANTRA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
19 Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
20 Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)
21 Marco BEZZECCHI (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
22 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Flexbox HP 40)
24 Dominique AEGERTER (MV Agusta Temporary Forward)
25 Joe ROBERTS (American Racing KTM)
26 Mattia PASINI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)
27 Dimas EKKY PRATAMA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
28 Jake DIXON (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)
29 Philipp OETTL (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
30 Lukas TULOVIC (Kiefer Racing)
31 Adam NORRODIN (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
32 Xavi CARDELUS (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)

Moto3 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Marcos RAMIREZ (Leopard Racing)
2 Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
3 John MCPHEE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
4 Albert ARENAS (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)
5 Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46)
6 Darryn BINDER (CIP Green Power)
7 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)
8 Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
9 Gabriel RODRIGO (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)
10 Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
11 Jaume MASIA (Mugen Race)
12 Aron CANET (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)
13 Sergio GARCIA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
14 Ai OGURA (Honda Team Asia)
15 Andrea MIGNO (Mugen Race)
16 Can ONCU (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
17 Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)
18 Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
19 Tony ARBOLINO (VNE Snipers)
20 Raul FERNANDEZ (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)
21 Romano FENATI (VNE Snipers)
22 Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
23 Kazuki MASAKI (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)
24 Stefano NEPA (Reale Avintia Arizona 77)
25 Tom BOOTH-AMOS (CIP Green Power)
26 Filip SALAC (Redox PruestelGP)
27 Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)
28 Makar YURCHENKO (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)
29 Riccardo ROSSI (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)