Marquez wins Vinales duel to snatch Americas pole

Marc Marquez produced a stunning last-gasp effort to rob Maverick Vinales of pole position ahead of Sunday's Americas MotoGP.

The duo have been trading fastest lap times throughout the week, and their battle went right down to the wire in qualifying.

Valentino Rossi crossed the line in third place, setting the stage for a mouthwatering clash at the Circuit of The Americas on Sunday.

Marquez made a decisive statement early in the session, beating Vinales' fastest lap time of the week – set in FP3 – on his very first lap.

And the Spaniard went quicker again, posting a 2m03.042s, while Vinales sat nine-tenths down after getting into a confrontation with his Yamaha team-mate Rossi. The youngster was visibly irritated by a run-in with the Italian at Turn 19, believing he had been blocked. 

To date, the new team-mates have been cordial to one another, but their rivalry may just have been ignited.

Vinales was able to shake off that incident, however, resuming his battle for pole. He wiped out most of the deficit to Marquez with a flyer to lie 0.083 back.

The chequered flag followed, and while Vinales clocked a 2m02.871s first to take top spot, Marquez produced a last-gasp effort to edge him by 0.130s for his fifth consecutive pole in Austin.

Rossi was almost a second back in third – evidence of how dominant the top two riders have been this week – although he will rely on all his guile and experience to try and make an impact come Sunday.

Marquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa produced a late burst to lift himself up to fourth, while rookie Johann Zarco was fifth. 

Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo completed the second row in sixth after being consigned to Q1 following a fall in FP3.

Lorenzo's team-mate was seventh Andrea Dovizioso, with Jonas Folger, Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding completing the top 10.

Qualifying Times

1 Marc Marquez Honda 2m02.741s
2 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 2m02.871s 0.130s
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2m03.673s 0.932s
4 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2m03.866s 1.125s
5 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha 2m03.928s 1.187s
6 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 2m04.151s 1.410s
7 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2m04.431s 1.690s
8 Jonas Folger Tech3 Yamaha 2m04.623s 1.882s
9 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 2m04.661s 1.920s
10 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 2m04.673s 1.932s
11 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 2m05.741s 3.000s
12 Jack Miller MVDS Honda 2m05.970s 3.229s
13 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 2m05.221s 2.480s
14 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 2m05.231s 2.490s
15 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 2m05.541s 2.800s
16 Tito Rabat MVDS Honda 2m05.920s 3.179s
17 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati 2m05.931s 3.190s
18 Bradley Smith KTM 2m06.258s 3.517s
19 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati 2m06.295s 3.554s
20 Sam Lowes Aprilia 2m07.232s 4.491s
21 Pol Espargaro KTM 2m07.601s 4.860s
22 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 2m05.468s 2.727s