Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez will start his quest for a fifth straight Indianapolis victory from pole position.

The Repsol Honda star dominated the 15-minute Q2 shootout, his pole time of 1m 31.88s coming on only his second lap, with team-mate Dani Pedrosa later slotting into second place (+0.171s).

Friday leader Jorge Lorenzo has looked the only rider capable of challenging Marquez for race pace this weekend, but the Movistar Yamaha rider was down in eighth as the chequered flag waved in qualifying.

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Fortunately for the Spaniard he made his last lap count, clinching the final front row place in third (0.302s), having joined Pedrosa in opting for a three-run strategy.

Filling Sunday's second row will be top satellite rider Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), plus Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha) - the trio separated by less than a tenth of a second.

World championship leader Valentino Rossi couldn't emulate team-mate Lorenzo's late charge, instead dropping to eighth after Ducati's Andrea Iannone gained ground on his final lap.

After an early pit stop, Rossi had been third at the end of his opening qualifying run, but didn't improve thereafter. Rossi starts Sunday's race with a 13-point lead over Lorenzo and 65-point advantage over Marquez.

Suzuki's Maverick Vinales will start alongside Rossi on the end of row three, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), Pol Espargaro (Tech 3) and Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki) forming row four.

Petrucci and Dovizioso reached Q2 via the Qualifying 1 session. Petrucci used a tow from the #4 to briefly hold fourth on the grid with one-minute of Qualifying 2 to go.

Q2:
1 Marc Marquez
2 Dani Pedrosa
3 Jorge Lorenzo
4 Cal Crutchlow
5 Danilo Petrucci
6 Bradley Smith
7 Andrea Iannone
8 Valentino Rossi
9 Maverick Vi?ales
10 Andrea Dovizioso
11 Pol Espargaro
12 Aleix Espargaro