Rossi on pole as Sepang qualifying canceled

Due to the torrential rainfall in Malaysia at the Sepang circuit, the officials have canceled qualifying for safety reasons. The starting positions, based on yesterday and today's free practice times, landed Valentino Rossi the pole position at...

Due to the torrential rainfall in Malaysia at the Sepang circuit, the officials have canceled qualifying for safety reasons. The starting positions, based on yesterday and today's free practice times, landed Valentino Rossi the pole position at the Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, the thirteenth round of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP).

Alongside the World Champion on the front row will be current standings leader, Nicky Hayden, and Loris Capirossi, winner of last Grand Prix in Czech Republic.

The official statement from Race Direction was released at 4.30pm local time and says: "After inspections at various locations around the circuit, Race Direction have decided to cancel both the MotoGP Qualifying Practice and the 250cc second Qualifying Practice due to safety reasons created by the earlier rainstorms."

"The grid for MotoGP will be formed by the riders' fastest lap times from the three Free Practice sessions".

With this decision, second row will have Kenny Roberts Jr., Dani Pedrosa -- who will race in spite of yesterday`s crash -- and Sete Gibernau, in his return after being absent in Brno.

"I don't know if it is harder to go and ride in those conditions or stand around waiting for two hours in your leathers! Seriously though the safety was the most important issue today -- there was a lot of water on the track and the conditions were very bad," Rossi commented.

"As a member of the MotoGP Safety Commission I spoke with Race Direction and I also went down pit-lane to chat with the other riders and we all agreed that the best thing was to not ride, not just because of the water but also the limited vision", the champion explained.

Top ten places have Randy de Puniet in the best Kawasaki followed by John Hopkins, Marco Melandri and Casey Stoner.

A 20-minute warm up tomorrow morning will precede the race which is scheduled to begin at 15:00hrs local time (09.00hrs CET), weather permitting. The entire MotoGP paddock will be keeping a careful watch on the skies.

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Sete Gibernau , Kenny Roberts , John Hopkins , Randy de Puniet , Marco Melandri , Casey Stoner , Dani Pedrosa