Moto2 title leader Marc Marquez will start Sunday's second round from pole position after holding off a surprise challenge from class rookie Takaaki Nakagami in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Repsol Suter star Marquez, fourth after the wet free practice sessions, raised his game in the dry qualifying conditions to claim his first pole of the year and eighth in the 600cc class.

But the Spaniard was only 0.080sec clear of Italtrans Kalex rider Nakagami, who had impressed in pre-season testing but finished only 14th on his Moto2 debut in Qatar. The Japanese will make his first ever grand prix front row start on Sunday.

Alongside him on the grid will be Pons Kalex home rider Pol Espargaro - third in Qatar - with Losail pole sitter Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Suter) pushed to row two by just 0.037s.

Andrea Iannone, who lost out on victory to Marquez by 0.061s in the opening round, will start just 13th for the Speed Master team.

Qualifying:

1. Marc Marquez SPA (Suter) 1m 43.005s
2. Takaaki Nakagami JPN (Kalex) 1m 43.085s
3. Pol Espargaro SPA (Kalex) 1m 43.273s
4. Thomas Luthi SWI (Suter) 1m 43.310s
5. Mika Kallio FIN (Kalex) 1m 43.367s
6. Claudio Corti ITA (Kalex) 1m 43.396s
7. Esteve Rabat SPA (Kalex) 1m 43.651s
8. Mike Di Meglio FRA (Speed Up) 1m 43.778s
9. Randy Krummenacher SWI (Kalex) 1m 43.858s
10. Johann Zarco FRA (MotoBI) 1m 43.959s
11. Alex De Angelis RSM (Suter) 1m 44.052s
12. Scott Redding GBR (Kalex) 1m 44.144s
13. Andrea Iannone ITA (Speed Up) 1m 44.204s
14. Max Neukirchner GER (Kalex) 1m 44.212s
15. Dominique Aegerter SWI (Suter) 1m 44.223s

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