In the Honda-powered Moto2 category, championship leader Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport Kalex) cast aside any nerves to claim an emphatic pole position. Leaving it late on a wet track, Zarco placed a stunning two seconds clear of second placed Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS Kalex).

Zarco goes into the race knowing that a win would be enough to clinch his second Moto2 world title. If he does win the title the Frenchman will become the first Moto2 champion to successfully defend his crown. He currently holds a 22-point advantage over Thomas Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex), who qualified fifth, and a 25-point lead over Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex) who could only manage 23rd fastest today.

Morbidelli’s performance gave him his third front-row start of the year, while Axel Pons (AGR Team Kalex) was third fastest to take his second front row in his eight years of GP racing.

Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex) was fourth, ahead of Luthi, with Misano race winner Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Team Kalex) sixth. Xavier Simeon (QMMF Racing Team Speed Up) was seventh, ahead of Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex), Remy Gardner (Tasca Racing Scuderia Kalex) and Simone Corsi (Speed Up Speed Up).

Johann Zarco

Johann Zarco 5

Pole

“I am very happy to get pole position. The last lap was very good; I had a good feeling riding with Morbidelli up at the front and was even able to pass him. The track had a lot of surface water, but I still saw I could give more. I don’t know what conditions we will encounter tomorrow, but the important thing will be to start out very focused and calm, because I have a good feeling in both dry and wet conditions. It will be important to be strong from the start and take the lead, so that I can just focus on my own pace. If the race is dry I think there will be a good fight in the leading group; if it is wet, it will be a long race and we will have to be careful. Tonight I will sleep well and keep calm for tomorrow.”

Ajo Motorsport
Franco Morbidelli

Franco Morbidelli 21

2nd

“That wasn’t an easy qualifying session considering the condition of the track but at least we knew earlier on that it was going to be wet and we could be prepared for that. I felt confident to push from the beginning and we knew it was going to stay wet because it seems a feature of the new surface is that it is quite slow to dry. The problem is that it is quite difficult to gauge where the track is wet and where it is dry because of the new asphalt, so you have to be careful to understand where you can attack to make the lap time. Conditions did improve but at no stage did I think the track was drying out sufficiently enough for slick tyres. At the end of the session the wet tyres were getting worn a lot but in that situation it is quite good fun to ride when the bike is sliding around. I’m happy to have got on the front row of the grid again and this gives me a good chance to be on the podium for the fourth race in a row. We have to wait now to understand what the weather will do but I feel confident that I can be at the front in wet or dry conditions.”

EG 0,0 Marc VDS
Axel Pons

Axel Pons 49

3rd

“I’m happy. It was a really complicated session. When we decided to fit the slick tyres toward the end of the session it was a risk as not everyone was using them. Anyway, as it turned out it was the correct decision. It was the compromise between the wet and dry parts of the track. We had to push quite a bit and we set a pretty good time. Another positive is this morning in the dry we had a really good pace and I think we can do a good race tomorrow.”

AGR Team
Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

Moto2 2016, Round 17

Saturday 29 Oct 2016, 11:55 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Johann Zarco 5 FRA Ajo Motorsport Kalex 2'18.621
2 Franco Morbidelli 21 ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex +2'20.755
3 Axel Pons 49 SPA AGR Team Kalex +2'21.383
4 Jonas Folger 94 GER Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex +2'21.559
5 Thomas Luthi 12 SWI Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex +2'21.775
6 Lorenzo Baldassarri 7 ITA Forward Racing Kalex +2'21.836
7 Xavier Simeon 19 BEL QMMF Racing Team Speed Up +2'21.941
8 Mattia Pasini 54 ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex +2'22.029
9 Remy Gardner 87 AUS Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex +2'22.070
10 Simone Corsi 24 ITA Speed Up Racing Speed Up +2'22.107
11 Luca Marini 10 ITA Forward Racing Kalex +2'22.556
12 Ramdan Rosli 93 MAL Petronas AHM Malaysia Kalex +2'22.697
13 Sam Lowes 22 GBR Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex +2'23.187
14 Hafizh Syahrin 55 THA Petronas Raceline Malaysia Kalex +2'23.213
15 Sandro Cortese 11 GER Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex +2'23.387
16 Alessandro Tonucci 33 ITA Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex +2'23.629
17 Iker Lecuona 27 SPA CarXpert Interwetten Kalex +2'23.677
18 Edgar Pons 57 SPA Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex +2'23.785
19 Isaac Viñales 32 SPA Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 +2'23.913
20 Takaaki Nakagami 30 JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex +2'23.935
Rider Standings
Sunday, 23 Oct 2016 - Open world standings grid
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Johann ZARCO 5 FRA 226 Ajo Motorsport Kalex
2 Thomas LUTHI 12 SWI 204 Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex
3 Alex RINS 40 SPA 201 Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex
4 Franco MORBIDELLI 21 ITA 177 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex
5 Sam LOWES 22 GBR 162 Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex
6 Takaaki NAKAGAMI 30 JPN 159 IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex
7 Jonas FOLGER 94 GER 143 Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex
8 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI 7 ITA 112 Forward Racing Kalex
9 Hafizh SYAHRIN 55 THA 106 Petronas Raceline Malaysia Kalex
10 Simone CORSI 24 ITA 93 Speed Up Racing Speed Up
11 Dominique AEGERTER 77 SWI 71 CarXpert Interwetten Kalex
12 Mattia PASINI 54 ITA 63 Italtrans Racing Team Kalex
13 Sandro CORTESE 11 GER 61 Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex
14 Alex MARQUEZ 73 SPA 60 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex
15 Marcel SCHROTTER 23 GER 58 AGR Team Kalex
16 Axel PONS 49 SPA 55 AGR Team Kalex
17 Xavier SIMEON 19 BEL 45 QMMF Racing Team Speed Up
18 Julian SIMON 60 SPA 40 QMMF Racing Team Speed Up
19 Luis SALOM 39 SPA 37 SAG Team Kalex
20 Miguel OLIVEIRA 44 POR 33 Leopard Racing Kalex
21 Danny KENT 52 GBR 28 Leopard Racing Kalex
22 Luca MARINI 10 ITA 27 Forward Racing Kalex
23 Xavi VIERGE 97 SPA 25 Tech 3 Racing Tech 3
24 Jesko RAFFIN 2 SWI 14 Sports-Millions-EMWE-SAG Kalex
25 Isaac VIñALES 32 SPA 13 Tech 3 Racing Tech 3
26 Anthony WEST 95 AUS 6 Montaze Broz Racing Team Suter
27 Ratthapark WILAIROT 14 THA 6 IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex
28 Remy GARDNER 87 AUS 5 Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex
29 Robin MULHAUSER 70 SWI 4 CarXpert Interwetten Kalex
30 Edgar PONS 57 SPA 4 Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex
31 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA 45 JPN 2 Ajo Motorsport Kalex