Beginning with Affendi Rosli's fastest time of 1:30.260s in the first practice which effectively smashed the 2011 laptime record held by Hadi Wijaya, the laptimes have been dropping consistently with each practice session. Hadi Wijaya was the first of the twenty riders to break into the 1:30s range when he posted 1:30.839s in the second practice session. Come Friday, the laptimes dropped even further when Affendi Rosli stopped the clock at 1:30.374 during the fourth free practice session, setting a new qualifying record for the 3.022km circuit.
By the time the actual qualifying session came about, everyone had been making changes to their machines in order to get the best settings for the fight for race grid position. However, an unexpected turn of events added drama to an already exciting qualifying.
After making changes to their compression ratio to fit the low humidity and the new RON99 fuel, Amirul Ariff Musa of Pachie Yuzy Honda Racing ended the 40-minute practice session as the fastest rider with 1:30.374s. However, a malfunctioning throttle forced Amirul to stop on the track at the last corner. Inexplicably, his team mate Wan Hadri Wan Mukhtar followed suit. This was an infringement of the race regulations and both riders were sanctioned by having their best times erased and instead, their second best times were used to determine their grid positions.
Though disappointed with the outcome, team Pachie Yuzy Honda Racing have determined to make the best of the situation. "We admit that it was a mistake made by both our riders. Of course we are sorry to have lost out on pole position but we accept the decision made by the race direction and the circuit officials," said team principal, Shahrol Yuzy Ahmad Zaini.
Hadi Wijaya was the first rider to benefit, going from second on the grid to pole position on the strength of his fastest time of 1:30.436s. Rey Ratukore of Nissin R9 KYT Federal Oil BRT will fill the second spot on the grid with 1:30.641s while Norizman Ismail takes up the final spot on the front row with a time of 1:30.945s.
"For the qualifying session today, I requested to increase the suspension setting and change the compression ratio to get more speed. While my personal laptimes have improved, it is now clear that the other teams are also capable of reaching the same laptimes and more. For race day, I intend to go back to the original settings we used for Thursday's free practice sessions because I am more comfortable with that," said Hadi.