Sepang, Indonesia: World champion Marc Marquez snatched pole position on Saturday for the Malaysian MotoGP despite falling off his bike in a rain-hit race while course favourite Andrea Dovizioso also took a tumble.

Qualifying for Sunday’s Grand Prix was delayed for over an hour as the Sepang International Circuit was hit by a torrential downpour.

When the race finally got underway, Honda’s Marquez, who clinched the world championship in Japan last month, clocked the fastest lap time of 2 minutes 12.161 seconds early on and stayed in the lead for the whole race. Organisers also decided to shift Sunday’s MotoGP forward by two hours to 1pm (0500 GMT) in a bid to avoid the heavy rains that typically fall later in the afternoon in tropical Malaysia.