New Red Bull Ajo Derbi signing Marc Marquez has taken the first pole position of the 2010 motorcycle grand prix season after leading 125cc qualifying at Qatar on Saturday night.

The former factory KTM rider broke 0.69sec clear at the top of the timesheets with seven of the 40-minutes remaining and could not be caught. It was the third pole of Marquez's career and he will be targeting his first win in Sunday's race.

Friday pace setter Pol Espargaro, on top before Marquez set his pole lap, got closest to his fellow Spaniard, but was still a sizeable 0.459sec adrift.

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Nicolas Terol will start third on his Aspar Aprilia debut, while Espargaro's Bainet Derbi team-mate Efren Vasquez will complete the front row. No other riders were within one-second of Marquez.

2009 title runner-up Bradley Smith, who battled mechanical troubles on his way to twelfth on Friday, could only advance to ninth in qualifying.

Qualifying - Qatar:

1. Marquez (Derbi) 2m 6.651s
2. Espargaro (Derbi) +0.459sec
3. Terol (Aprilia) +0.485sec
4. Vazquez (Derbi) +0.536sec
5. Krummenacher (Aprilia) +1.119sec
6. Koyama (Aprilia) +1.292sec
7. Cortese (Derbi) 1.560sec
8. Masbou (Aprilia) +2.084sec
9. Smith (Aprilia) +2.184sec
10. Rabat (Aprilia) +2.199sec

13. Webb (Aprilia) +2.996sec