Marc Marquez demolished the previous MotoGP record at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he dominated qualifying in for the Red Bull GP.
The championship leader had already set the pace in all four practice sessions and he wasted no time in taking command of qualifying as well. He began with a 1m38.440s, then improved on that by just 0.001 second on his next flying lap.
There was plenty more to come on his final set of tires, too, as Marquez blasted to a 1m37.958s. No one could get within half a second of that pace. World champion Jorge Lorenzo managed best, putting his Yamaha second on the grid.
Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow had looked set to make it two Yamahas on the front row, only for Marquez’s Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa to demote the Briton to fourth with a late lap.
Alvaro Bautista and top home rider Nicky Hayden complete row two.
Stefan Bradl had been among the pacesetters through practice but crashed in both the pre-qualifying practice session and Q2. That left him behind Bradley Smith in eighth.
Valentino Rossi was never a factor in the pole fight. He qualified 1.3sec off the pace in ninth.
Colin Edwards produced an outstanding performance to go fastest in Q1 on home ground on his CRT Forward FTR-Kawasaki. That took him into Q2 for the first time, and he will line up on row four behind the Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and fellow Q1 qualifier Andrea Iannone.
Iannone’s Pramac teammate Ben Spies will miss the race after dislocating his shoulder in practice three.
Aleix Espargaro harmed his chances with a crash in the pre-qualifying practice session that left him with badly bruised hands. He could not make it out of Q1 and will start 13th.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Marc Marquez Honda 1m37.958s 2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m38.471s +0.513s 3. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m38.485s +0.527s 4. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m38.502s +0.544s 5. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m38.872s +0.914s 6. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m39.142s +1.184s 7. Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 1m39.255s +1.297s 8. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m39.313s +1.355s 9. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m39.356s +1.398s10. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m39.555s +1.597s11. Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati 1m40.042s +2.084s12. Colin Edwards Forward FTR-Kawasaki 1m40.372s +2.414s13. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 1m40.444s Q114. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Suter-BMW 1m41.122s Q115. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 1m41.154s Q116. Claudio Corti Forward FTR-Kawasaki 1m41.334s Q117. Hector Barbera Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m41.527s Q118. Michael Laverty PBM-Aprilia 1m41.618s Q119. Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m41.665s Q120. Bryan Staring Gresini FTR-Honda 1m41.786s Q121. Yonny Hernandez PBM Aprilia 1m41.807s Q122. Lukas Pesek Ioda-Suter-BMW 1m41.868s Q123. Karel Abraham Cardion Aprilia 1m42.165s Q124. Blake Young Attack APR-Kawasaki 1m44.472s Q1