Marc Marquez blasted to pole position in track record fashion at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, beating title rival Jorge Lorenzo and teammate Dani Pedrosa.
Marquez registered a superb lap of 1:30.237 with just under two minutes remaining in qualifying to take over the top spot, crushing Pedrosa’s old record of 1:30.844 set in 2012.
“The confidence is pretty high,” said Marquez. “The target was to be on the front row because I know that it’s important. Here it’s quite difficult to overtake other riders.”
The 20-year-old rookie makes qualifying a focal point each weekend, realizing that his race starts are a weakness.
“The start is not my best point, so it’s important to be there [on the front row],” said Marquez. “Most important is tomorrow. We have a big race. We will try to do our best; sure we will fight with Jorge and with Dani.
“We need to be concentrated and try to push like we did until now because that is where I keep my concentration and when I feel better on the bike. We will see how we can finish the race.”
Lorenzo looked to be in prime position after setting a 1:30.645 lap on his first attempt, but the reigning World Champion was troubled by engine problems while on his main bike.
The Yamaha squad elected to put Lorenzo on the number two bike as time winded down, but he could do no better than second, 0.34 seconds off Marquez’s pace.
“During the second lap, the engine started to fail; I didn’t have power so I entered the pits and changed the bike,” said Lorenzo. “With the other bike I didn’t have the same feeling because the engine is old and more aggressive.
“Anyway, I made a very good lap time with this bike. It was bitter because I think today we could have made a pole position, but anyway, the important thing is that we are only one or two meters behind Marc for the start.”
Valentino Rossi will start from the second row in Sunday’s grand prix and will be joined by Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith.
Completing the top 10 is Alvaro Bautista, Stefan Bradl, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden — who is making his final start for Ducati.
FOX Sports 1 will have live coverage of the Valencia GP starting at 8 a.m. ET, with an encore presentation at 5 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2.Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, MotoGP, Valencia GP, Valentino Rossi