(Reuters) - Honda’s MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez stormed to pole position for the second straight year at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas on Saturday, as the Spaniard continued his early season domination of the series.
Marquez, who also started from pole for the season opener in Qatar last month, put down a sizzling lap of two minutes, 2.773 second on his final lap around the twisting Circuit of the Americas, shattering his own track record.
Dani Pedrosa, Marquez’s compatriot and Honda team mate, was second fastest on 2:03.062, followed by Germany’s Stefan Bradl, on a non-factory Honda, to complete the front row for Sunday’s race.
It will be an all-Yamaha second row with Spaniard Aleix Espargaro fourth fastest followed by twice world champion Jorge Lorenzo of Spain and Italian Valentino Rossi.
Marquez, who claimed his first career MotoGP premier class win at the Circuit of the Americas last year, continued his love affair with the Texas layout, topping all four free practice sessions.
Marquez shrugged off the pain of a fractured fibula in his right leg, suffered while dirt-bike riding in February, to earn the win in Qatar.
“The most important thing for me is that my leg feels ok - much better than it did in Qatar,” said Marquez, following one of dominating practice efforts.
“The injury was bothering me a little but I was able to participate in both free practice sessions without taking any painkillers.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Gene Cherry/Peter Rutherford