Memories of a bruising morning for the Repsol Honda Team quickly vanished as Marc Marquez put in a pair of incredible laps to advance from Q1 and then grab a front row birth for Sunday’s race.

With his back seemingly against the wall, Marc Marquez did what he does best and performed when it mattered most. The first magic lap came at the end of Q1, having barely challenged the top five, the #93 went 1.2 seconds faster than his previous best lap to take second in the session and move to Q2. Perfectly timed, the delight was clear to see as the eight-time World Champion pounded his chest in celebration.

The story repeated itself in Q2, Marquez setting a best lap of 1’59.347 on his first run and with the clock rapidly decreasing as he went back out for a second attempt. Finding another 0.9s, Marquez shot up to third thanks to a 1’58.454 and secured his third front row start since his return to competition in Aragon. The performance left even Marquez himself at a loss for words to explain his incredible performance.

Free Practice 3 was poised to be a crucial session, the rain holding and a number of riders hunting fast times after Friday afternoon’s downpour. But for the Repsol Honda Team it would become an incredibly complicated session as traffic and two crashes impacted the team’s performance. Riding slowly on the racing line, Franco Morbidelli disturbed a number of riders – including Marc Marquez. The disruption while on a hot lap, combined with falling rain, meant the #93 was unable to secure a place in the top ten. On the other side of the Repsol Honda Team, falls at Turn 15 and Turn 1 for Espargaro cemented a troublesome morning.

Espargaro would ultimately struggle with a third crash in Free Practice 4, at Turn 8. Setting a best time of 1’59.363 in Q1 for seventh, Espargaro will start 20th for Sunday’s race after the penalty has been applied. Rain may provide salvation for the #44.

The 20-lap Malaysian Grand Prix is scheduled to commence at 15:00 Local Time. Whether the rain comes remains the biggest question looming overnight.

Marc Marquez

Third 1'58.454

“The feeling today wasn’t there but the lap time was! I had to take a lot of risks and I was honestly really surprised in Q1 and Q2 that I was able to do the lap alone. Normally I have been struggling to do it, especially somewhere like here in Sepang with the straights where we are losing time. I really don’t know how I am in the first row! Tomorrow will be a long and demanding race if it doesn’t rain, let’s see what we can do at the start of the race.”

Pol Espargaro

20th 1'59.363

“Today really was not a good day at all and it is hard to find positives. I want to say sorry to my team for the three crashes, this gave them a lot of extra work and as always they were perfect in fixing and preparing the bike. We now have to deal with this grid penalty so it will be a race of seeing what happens. If there’s a lot of rain or it starts rain during the race, maybe something can happen.”

MotoGP 2022
Qualifying Round 19   Malaysia

Malaysian Grand Prix - Qualifying Results

Track Temp
Air Temp
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Martin Jorge 89 SPA Pramac Racing Ducati 1'57.790
2 Bastianini Enea 23 ITA Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 0.456
3 Marquez Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.664
4 Bezzecchi Marco 73 ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 0.700
5 Rins Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.785
6 Marini Luca 10 ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 0.789
7 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.864
8 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 0.976
9 Bagnaia Francesco 62 ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1.072
10 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1.145
11 Mir Joan 36 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1.355
12 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1.425
13 Binder Brad 33 RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.408 - Q1
14 Miller Jack 43 AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.419
15 Crutchlow Cal 35 GBR WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 0.611
16 Di Giannantonio Fabio 49 ITA Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 0.633
17 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.718
18 Zarco Johann 5 FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 1.045
19 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.054
20 Gardner Remy AUS 1.158
21 Marquez Alex 73 SPA LCR Honda Honda 1.363
22 Fernandez Raul SPA 1.432
23 Nagashima Tetsuta 45 JPN LCR Honda Honda 2.158
24 Binder Darryn 40 RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 12.072
Location Information

Specifically built for speed and exciting racing, the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia is one of the world’s best. The 2,300 acre complex cost around £50m to construct and was built in just 14 months, holding its first Grand Prix in April 1999 and setting the standard for race circuits… read more.

Length 5.543 kilometres / 3.444 miles
Width 25 metres
Left corners 5
Right corners 10
Longest straight 0.920 kilometres / 0.572 miles
Constructed 1998

Sepang International Circuit Klia Pahang Malaysia - View in Google Maps


Pole Position 1m 57.491s (169.8km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2023)
Race Lap 1m 58.979s (167.7km/h) Alex Marquez (Ducati, 2023)
2023 Race Winner Enea Bastianini (Ducati)
2023 Sprint Winner Alex Marquez (Ducati)