Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi will start tonight’s Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix from pole position.
The Italian can wrap up the the 2009 MotoGP World Championship at the Sepang circuit, depending on where team-mate Jorge Lorenzo finishes.
Rossi broke the lap record, clocking a 2m00.518s in qualifying, withLorenzo and Dani Pedrosa completing the front row.
The previous pole record at the circuit – recorded by Rossi on a 990cc machine in 2006 – was beaten by 0.087s.
Australian rider casey Stoner, who won the race at Sepang in 2007, will head up the second row after lapping almost a full second slower than Rossi.
Loris Capirossi secured fifth spot on the grid on his Suzuki GSV-R.
Toni Elías (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro), Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda), Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini) all came through inside the top 10.
Chris Vermeulen will start the race 14th on his Suzuki.