ALCANIZ, Spain (AP) — Overall leader Marc Marquez set a track record Saturday to claim pole position at the Aragon MotoGP.
Defending champion Jorge Lorenzo starts Sunday's race from second, followed by Marquez's Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, who won here last year. The 20-year-old Marquez beat Casey Stoner's fastest time in 2011 with a late flying lap of 1:47.804 at the 5-kilometer (3.15-mile) MotorLand Aragon circuit.
It was Marquez's seventh pole in his first season in the MotoGP category. "Dani and Jorge were both pretty fast," Marquez said. "Tomorrow is the important day, however, when we will fight for the championship."
Marquez said the key to winning will be "to take care of the tires." Marquez tops the standings with 253 points. Lorenzo and Pedrosa both have 219. There are five races left. Several riders enjoyed a fast qualifying session, with eight in total running off laps below Stoner's previous record time of 1 minute, 49.046 seconds.
Lorenzo's Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi was fourth, followed by Stefan Bradl, Alvaro Bautista, and British pair Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith. Spanish riders also swept the top three spots in the minor categories.
In Moto2, Nicolas Terol earned his first pole position of the season. Esteve Rabat was second, ahead of Pol Espargaro. Leader Scott Redding of Britain finished with the 13th-best time. Redding had surgery on Thursday in Barcelona to treat numbness and a loss of strength in his right arm.
In Moto3, Alex Rins took his sixth pole position of the season. Maverick Vinales and Alex Marquez were second and third, respectively. Leader Luis Salom only managed the eighth-best time.