Suzuki team boss Paul Denning described Loris Capirossi's ninth place on the Sepang grid as a "heroic" achievement following the veteran's practice crash.
Capirossi missed nearly all of morning practice after a high-side on his very first lap. He was taken to the medical center on a stretcher, and although he escaped with no broken bones, he suffered severe bruising to his right foot and ankle.
"The Malaysian Grand Prix weekend has been absolutely horrible for Loris so far," said Denning. "This morning's crash was very violent and very painful and it was amazing that he managed to get back out there this afternoon.
"His crash did mean that the technical improvements that we were seeking were impossible to find with the bike sitting in the pit box. He can't bear any weight on his right foot, so for him to qualify on the third row is simply an heroic achievement. Race distance is going to be very tough, but we thank Loris for his efforts today and hope that his condition is much improved tomorrow morning."
Capirossi felt he had thrown away a good chance this weekend by crashing.
"I am a little bit upset about this morning, I felt quite confident about coming here because we did a good winter test and I thought we could do well this weekend, so what happened this morning was very disappointing," he said. "This afternoon I tried to ride the best I could, but my condition is not so good so I am pleased to get on to the third row."
Alvaro Bautista qualified a career-best eighth on the other Suzuki, but was not entirely happy.
"It's strange because this has been my best qualifying position of the season but I feel like it is not enough," said the Spanish rookie, who had been in the top six in both practice sessions. We still need to be positive about it though, because we are in a better position than we have been before and we have to try to make the most of that."