Marc Marquez storms to pole at Grand Prix of the Americas
Grand Prix of the Americas
- Venue: Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas
- Saturday 20 April: MotoGP practice: 1500-1830 BST; qualifying: 1830-2200 BST Red Button and online
- Sunday 21 April: Moto2 & 3 races: 1645-1930, Red Button and online; MotoGP race: 1930-2100, BBC Three and online
Spain's Marc Marquez became the youngest rider to earn a MotoGP pole position with a blistering performance at the Grand Prix of the Americas.
Marquez, 20, laid down a marker at the inaugural Texas race to qualify ahead of compatriots Dani Pedrosa and world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Britain's Cal Crutchlow will start on the second row in fourth ahead of Stefan Bradl and Andrea Dovizioso.
Former world champion Valentino Rossi is eighth and GB's Bradley Smith 11th.
"Marc Marquez is in real contention to take his first win at just 20 years of age. He has been downplaying his chances but even he will know he could be right up there. Do not forget he is still learning how to ride a MotoGP bike but he is in contention."
Marquez was third on his MotoGP debut in Qatar earlier this month and had topped the timesheets in practice since arriving in Texas.
The current Moto2 champion dominated once again in qualifying and looks on course to become the the youngest-ever race winner in the premier class on Sunday.
"I'm quite happy," he told BBC Sport. "Pole position always is important but the most important is tomorrow. Before the qualifying I hoped for the pole but you never know.
"I was a little bit nervous but now I feel quite good and tomorrow I hope to make a good race."
Marquez's time of two minutes 3.021 seconds saw him finish the session 0.254 seconds ahead of Repsol Honda team-mate and fellow Spaniard Pedrosa.
"Marc looks super-fast here," said Pedrosa, who finished fourth in Qatar.
"We improved a lot today. We are bit closer and this is important but we still have to improve in the first section.
"I hope I can do better than in the first race."
Grand Prix of the Americas qualification results:
1. Marc Marquez (Spain) Repsol Honda Team 2:03.021
2. Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Repsol Honda Team 2:03.275
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha Factory Racing 2:04.100
4. Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:04.267
5. Stefan Bradl (Germany) LCR Honda MotoGP 2:04.445
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati Team 2:04.873
7. Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda Gresini 2:04.942
8. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha Factory Racing 2:05.380
9. Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Power Electronics Aspar 2:05.389
10. Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Ducati Team 2:05.568