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Sport Motorsport Malaysia

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Pedrosa on pole for Malaysian GP

Andrea Dovizioso (file picture) will be hoping to repeat his 2016 Malaysian MotoGP success Mohd Rasfan/AFP

Honda’s Dani Pedrosa grabbed pole position at the Malaysian Grand Prix after a thrilling qualifying session that saw five successful pole laps set in the last two minutes.

Pedrosa’s Honda teammate and championship leader Marc Marquez will start in seventh place while Marquez’s title rival Andrea Doviziosi will start third.

Pedrosa's pole-winning time was 17,000ths of a second quicker than Johann Zarco, with Dovizioso completing the front row for Sunday’s race.

“We hope Sunday's race will be dry. We hope to focus on the race and hopefully we will do our best. Starting from the front is very important,” Pedrosa said.

Dovizioso’s hopes of challenging Marquez were boosted when Marquez crashed during the session. Though Marquez recovered, he could finish only seventh.

Marquez leads Dovizioso by 33 points going into the season’s penultimate race. He will win his second consecutive title if he finishes first or second on Sunday.