MotoGP: Marc Marquez pips Valentino Rossi to pole in Malaysia while Britain's Cal Crutchlow will start third

The championship leader puts himself in a good position to extend his lead with rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa starting on the second row

Championship leader Marc Marquez has claimed pole for Sunday's Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang.

The Spaniard beat Valentino Rossi to first place with a pole record of two minutes 0.011seconds with Great Britain's Cal Crutchlow finishing in third.

Yamaha's Rossi had set the quickest lap in qualifying but he was pipped at the end of the session by Marquez, who claimed a 0.325secs advantage.

Rossi's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will start from fourth ahead of Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Alvaro Bautista on the GO&FUN Honda Gresini in sixth.

Marquez leads the overall standings with 278 and is 39 points of second-placed Lorenzo, with Pedrosa a further 20 points back. Rossi is fourth with a total of 185.

Rain is expected in Sunday's race, which starts at 4.00pm local time, and Pedrosa will be hoping for a good result as he could be mathematically ruled out of title contention depending on the finishing order.

The Spaniard had topped the first three practice sessions at the Sepang International Circuit but he could not repeat his form in qualifying, finishing sixth tenths down on Marquez, whose pole broke Casey Stoney's six-year-old record.

It was Marquez's eighth pole of 2013 and his fourth in succession and he headed up a repeat of the German GP front row, although Rossi and Crutchlow's places were reversed.

LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl sat of out the action after he broke his ankle during a crash in the last practice session.

PA

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