Madrid - MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez stormed to pole position for Sunday's Aragon Grand Prix by smashing his own circuit record at the MotorLand track on Saturday.
Jorge Lorenzo will start second as he maintained the pressure of his Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi in the battle for the world championship with Italy's Andrea Iannone completing the front row.
Championship leader Rossi was well off the pace of his title rivals as he qualified down in sixth.
Marquez is third in the championship standings, 63 points behind Rossi with just five races remaining, but is the man in form having won three of the last five Grand Prix.
The 22-year-old said earlier in the week that Aragon is his favourite race of the year and it showed as he broke his record in claiming pole last season by over half a second to set a new record time of 1:46.635.
However, the Honda rider also suffered a scare on his final qualifying lap as he was lucky to escape uninjured after losing control and flying into the gravel track.
"On the first lap I did a 1:46.6 that even surprised me a bit. On the second lap I made a small error, so I knew I could still better the time and the final time I made the definitive error," said Marquez.
"I tried to push a little more and it is a critical corner. We knew the tyres could be a bit cold on that corner, but I had to push at the maximum because it was my last try in case Lorenzo managed to lower the time a bit more.
"We've managed to get the pole position. It was important here to start from the first row."
Lorenzo had been quickest in Friday's two practice sessions, but was unable to match Marquez's blistering early pace.
However, he was still satisfied as he looks on course to cut into Rossi's 23-point lead in the title race.
"Qualifying is incredible as always. I lowered my best time here in Aragon by 1.2 seconds. It is amazing how the bikes develop and especially in qualifying the times that are being set," he said.
"Marc was very explosive from the start and I had to do everything to try and get to the same time. I am very happy and proud of the work we have done and my lap time."
Results from the Motorcycling Grand Prix Aragon MotoGP qualification on
1. Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 1:46.635
Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 1:46.743
3. Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati
4. Pol Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha 1:47.334
Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 1:47.357
6. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha
7. Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Suzuki 1:47.573
Crutchlow (Britain) Honda 1:47.574
9. Danilo Petrucci (Italy) Ducati
10. Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha 1:47.830