Two-time defending world champion Marc Marquez captured his sixth consecutive pole position at the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas, bouncing back after a crash to lead Saturday's qualifying.
The 25-year-old Spaniard has won from the front in all five races at the 20-corner circuit in Austin, Texas, and kept his perfect qualifying record intact with a fast lap of 2mins 3.658secs ahead of Sunday's third race of the season.
Marquez, a six-time world champion, won his first series title at the 2013 race and has dominated at the track ever since.
In Saturday's qualifying session, Marquez crashed in turn 13, skidding out as the tried to make the right turn, but returned on a backup Honda and turned the top lap of the weekend.
"Here in Austin is a good surface for me. I did a good lap time," Marquez said. "All the fans enjoyed it because I crashed, I come back out in the second bike and I win the pole."
Spain's Maverick Vinales was second on his Yamaha in 2:04.064 and confident he could challenge Marquez in the race.
"We have a good rhythm," Vinales said. "I think tomorrow we can be fighting hard for the race. We're going to push hard for it tomorrow."
Italy's Andrea Iannone was third, .551 of a second behind Marquez on his Suzuki to edge French Yamaha rider Johann Zarco for the last front-row spot by .001 of a second.
"It was one of the targets for us to be on the front row," Iannone said. "We can improve, not a lot, but it's most important. Tomorrow will be a difficult race. I think it's going to be a difficult battle."
Another Italian, Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, was fifth on 2:04.229 with Spanish Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo sixth on 2:04.294 and British season points leader Cal Crutchlow, a Honda rider, seventh on 2:04.456.
© 2018 AFP