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Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 8:08:00 PM
Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 8:18:23 PM
Spanish Moto3 rider Maverick Vinales (centre) chases his compatriot Alex Rins (right) ahead of fellow Spaniard Luis Salom of Red Bull KTM Ajo during official qualifying of the Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi on Saturday. Salom's team-mate Zulfahmi Khairuddin will start Sunday's race in 13th place. - EPA
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin could only qualify for 13th on the grid for the Japanese Grand Prix in a wet and foggy session at the Motegi Circuit on Saturday.
It was the only time Zulfahmi and the other riders – including MotoGP and Moto2 riders – had time on the track prior to the race as dense fog and rain forced the organisers to cancel Friday’s practice sessions.
Saturday’s morning practice sessions were also cancelled due to heavy rain.
In the 55-minute qualifying session, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider posted his best time of 2:11.793 at the tail-end of the session.
Spain rules the front row with Alex Rins taking pole position after posting 2:09.387, while Maverick Vinales came in second (2:10.310) and Alex Marquez was third (2:10.313).
Championship leader and Zulfahmi’s team-mate Luis Salom will start from fourth (2:10.656).
“At the beginning of the session it was not bad and I felt really good on the bike. But towards the end of the session, I was uncertain about the condition and was not sure whether it was getting drier or not.
“I thought nobody was going to improve their time on the closing lap but everyone did,” he said.
In last year’s race at Motegi, Zulfahmi finished fifth after a brilliant qualifying where he took fourth.
“I’m not happy with my qualifying time today because I expected more from the session. But I tried my best and will concentrate on the race tomorrow (Sunday),” he said.
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