Valentino Rossi described his pole position lap for the Malaysian Grand Prix as "a monster."
The Yamaha rider, who only needs a fourth-place finish at Sepang to seal a seventh premier class world championship, went to the top of the timesheets with 22 minutes of qualifying remaining. He then improved his time by over seven tenths of a second over the remaining laps, eventually breaking his own pole record of three years earlier.
"We decided a good procedure with Bridgestone so that I had a lot of time at the end [of the session] to try for my best lap," said Rossi. "My target was to go under 2m01.0, and on the last lap I did that. Unfortunately, my dashboard was not working. I looked and saw the 2m00.5 [on the giant screen trackside] and thought 'No, someone's beaten me.' But it was my time, so I am very happy. It was a monster lap."
The 30-year-old Italian said that he would take a patient approach during the race and not take any undue risks.
"The plan is like a normal race, but for sure I must be patient because of what we need to do [to win the world championship]," he added. "Our bike is working well and we need to make a great start from pole and have good pace."