Reigning Champion Johann Zarco has obliterated the field in Moto2 qualifying, after the championship leader got into a nice tempo to secure his sixth pole position of the year, almost two seconds clear of the field. Franco Morbidelli continued his strong form to equal his best ever career qualifying result in second with Axel Pons making a surprise appearance on the front row in third after a late change to slicks.

Zarco, who can win the Moto2 World Championship this weekend, controlled qualifying with ease, setting fast laps continuously on the damp track, ending the session with a 2m18.621s, two seconds clear of the field. This is a vital pole position for the Frenchman as if he finishes ahead of rivals Tom Luthi and Alex Rins in the race and claims a podium place, he will become the first rider to claim back to back Moto2 World Titles.

Franco Morbidelli was nearest to the Ajo Motorsport rider, finishing the session in second to continue his strong run of form this season and the Italian will be hoping to claim that illusive maiden race win on Sunday.

Axel Pons decided to roll the dice and put on slick tyres near the end of the session. This gamble paid off for the AGR rider as his last lap catapulted him up the field and onto the final place on the front row. This is his first front row since Phillip Island in 2015.

Wet weather specialist Jonas Folger was unable to improve his earlier provisional pole time and the German ended up being pushed back to fourth. Championship challenger Tom Luthi recovered from the bottom of the timesheets to elevate himself to fifth on the grid after putting a solid lap together.

Lorenzo Baldassarri completed another solid qualifying session in sixth ahead of Xavier Simeon who took a suprise seventh. Mattia Pasini proved that his Phillip Island front row was no fluke as he claimed an excellent eighth place. Remy Gardner took a career best ninth position on the grid with Simone Corsi rounding out the top ten in Malaysia.

The Moto2 race begins at 05:20 BST on Sunday and with Zarco only needing to gain three points on Luthi, the Frenchman will be gunning for the win but mixed conditions will face the riders so we could be in for a classic.

Read more from Jordan Halpin