Indianapolis - Marc Marquez booked the perfect starting position to chase his 10th successive MotoGP victory as he claimed pole position at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Although he entered qualifying having set the fastest time of the weekend to date in the proceeding FP4, Marquez got it very wrong on his first flying lap, running off the track at Turn 1.
That, though, did nothing to throw him off his stride as the Championship leader went quickest on his first complete lap, a 1:31.718.
Jorge Lorenzo was second fastest in the early running ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Aleix Espargaro.
After a brief break, the riders returned to the track for a final role of the dice.
Espargaro was the first to launch an attack on the provisional front row as he climbed to third place while Marquez lowered the benchmark to a 1:31.619.
Andrea Dovizioso joined the battle at the front, slotting into second place and in doing so bumping Espargaro off the provisional front row.
None of the other riders were able to make any major improvements and Dovizioso finished qualifying second, 0.225 down on Marquez.
Lorenzo dropped to third as he was unable to improve on his earlier lap time while Espargaro was fourth ahead of Valentino Rossi and his younger brother Pol Espargaro.
Andrea Iannone qualified in seventh place while Pedrosa, another unable to up his pace, finished down in eighth place.
Bradley Smith's efforts were undone when, in the final minute of qualifying, he crashed heavily at Turn 1. He finished P9.
Earlier, Scott Redding and Cal Crutchlow were the two who made it through Q1 even though it was Yonny Hernandez who led the way until the final minute.
It was a disappointing end for the Pramac Ducati rider who narrowly missed out on progressing straight into Q2, pipped by Aleix Espargaro in final practice. He will line-up 13th on the American grid.
Meanwhile, Redding and Crutchlow unable to make any significant inroads in the top 12 and finished 11th and 12th respectively.
1 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1'31.619
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1'31.844 +0.225
3 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1'31.869 +0.250
4 Aleix ESPARGARO NGM Forward Racing 1'32.113 +0.494
5 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1'32.160 +0.541
6 Pol ESPARGARO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'32.243 +0.624
7 Andrea IANNONE Pramac Racing 1'32.254 +0.635
8 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1'32.331 +0.712
9 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'32.343 +0.724
10 Stefan BRADL LCR Honda MotoGP 1'32.514 +0.895
11 Scott REDDING GO&FUN Honda Gresini 1'32.714 +1.095
12 Cal CRUTCHLOW Ducati Team 1'32.794 +1.175
13 Yonny HERNANDEZ Energy T.I. Pramac Racing 1'33.166
14 Alvaro BAUTISTA GO&FUN Honda Gresini 1'33.294
15 Colin EDWARDS NGM Forward Racing 1'33.625
16 Leon CAMIER Drive M7 Aspar 1'33.747
17 Danilo PETRUCCI Octo IodaRacing Team 1'33.837
18 Hiroshi AOYAMA Drive M7 Aspar 1'33.948
19 Mike DI MEGLIO Avintia Racing 1'34.244
20 Hector BARBERA Avintia Racing 1'34.332
21 Karel ABRAHAM Cardion AB Motoracing 1'34.369
22 Broc PARKES Paul Bird Motorsport 1'34.764
23 Michael LAVERTY Paul Bird Motorsport 1'34.814