Honda’s MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez chalked up his sixth pole position of the season in record time at the San Marino Grand Prix on Saturday.
The 20-year-old Spanish rookie lapped the Misano Marco Simoncelli circuit with a fastest time of one minute 32.915 seconds that was quicker than the lap record of 1:33.138 set by Australian Casey Stoner in 2011 qualifying.
Marquez, who has a 30-point lead over compatriot and team mate Dani Pedrosa, will have the Yamahas of world champion Jorge Lorenzo and Italian Valentino Rossi with him on the front row at the eastern Italian track.
Pedrosa starts fourth with Britain’s Cal Crutchlow in fifth place on the non-works Tech3 Yamaha.
Marquez was handed two penalty points at the previous race in Britain, but these are separate from championship points. Any rider racking up four penalty points starts the next race from the back of the grid.
Lorenzo and Rossi were using a new seamless gearbox in qualifying for the first time, with the riders saying in practice that it made the bike more stable to ride.
“We improved a little but not enough to be closer to Marc,” said Lorenzo, who was more than half a second off Marquez’s fastest time.
“He made an amazing lap. We are struggling to stop the bike in braking and we have more spinning than normal in acceleration.
“Maybe the best strategy is to follow Marc and see how our performance is during the race.”
In Moto2, Spain’s title contender Pol Espargaro will start on pole. Championship leader Scott Redding lines up fifth.