Seventh heaven as Marquez grabs MotoGP pole in Austin

Marquez aiming for his seventh win from pole in Austin. (Reuters picture)

LOS ANGELES: World champion Marc Marquez maintained his domination at the Grand Prix of the Americas on Saturday, sweeping to yet another pole position as he chases a seventh straight victory in Texas.

The Spanish MotoGP star bagged his seventh consecutive pole at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas after posting a fastest lap of 2:3.787s, early in the qualifying session.

Italian rival Valentino Rossi was second fastest in 2:04.060s while Britain’s Cal Crutchlow was third quickest in 2:04.147s.

Marquez has won at Austin from pole position every year since the race arrived on the MotoGP calendar in 2013.

On Saturday’s evidence, the Repsol Honda rider looks unbeatable once more after a dominant display on the counter-clockwise Austin circuit.

Marquez’s quickest time came on only his second lap, and his rivals struggled to make much headway for the remainder of the session, with no other rider managing to duck below the 2:4s barrier.

Marquez arrived in Texas fresh from a superb victory over Rossi in Argentina, where he romped home by 10 seconds at the Termas de Rio Hondo.

The Spaniard leads the overall championship standings by four points from Andrea Dovizioso heading into Sunday’s race.

Ducati rider Dovizioso failed to make qualifying two on Saturday, finishing with the 13th fastest time of 2:05.907s.

Malaysia’s Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah riding for Red Bull KTM Tech3 qualified in 21st place.