Marc Márquez set an ominous challenge for his rivals as he set a new 125cc pole position record in qualifying for Sunday’s race at Indianapolis, taking over a second off Julián Simón’s 2009 record.
The Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider’s effort of 1’48.124 left him almost half a second clear of the rest of the field as he prepared to attempt to extend his Championship lead in Sunday’s race.
In second place was Nico Terol (Bancaja Aspar), whose best lap was 0.479s off that of Márquez’s, with Terol’s team-mate Bradley Smith third at a further 0.423s off his colleague. Sandro Cortese’s solid form from practice carried through as he took the final spot on the front row.
Heading up the second row of the grid will be last year’s race winner Pol Espargaró, who failed to qualify on the front row for the first time this season.
The Tuenti Racing rider was 1.540s off title rival Márquez as he experienced a difficult session, sliding off on his Derbi machine early on but avoiding injury. His team-mate Efrén Vázquez, Luis Salom (Stipa-Molenaar Racing), and Johann Zarco (WTR San Marino Team) will complete the second row.
Tomoyoshi Koyama (Racing Team Germany) and Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) finished inside the top ten, with Danny Webb (Andalucia Cajasol) missing much of the session due to an early crash but still managing to qualify in 11th. Luca Marconi (Team Ongetta) suffered mechanical issues early in the session and Zarco had a fall towards the end, as did rookie Jakub Kornfeil (Racing Team Germany).