It's not often that MotoGP champion Marc Marquez decides a situation is too risky, but the Repsol Honda star backed out of using slick tyres on a drying track in Argentina qualifying.

LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow also pulled straight back in for wets, but Jack Miller stuck it out on slicks and – after some wild moments - was rewarded with a debut MotoGP pole position.

"I expected the grip was there [for slicks], but even as I was leaving the box when I touched the wet it was quite risky to have a crash. Then after passing [the fully wet] Turns 7-8 my head started to think, 'tomorrow is the race'," Marquez explained.

"Of course, pole position is important but tomorrow is the race and this year I'm trying to avoid the risk, avoid crashing.

"I'm still taking risks, but if you crash in those conditions normally you get injured because you fly.

"I saw the lap of Jack and it was like riding a bull! He took a lot of risk and got the pole, but anyway we went in another strategy."

After returning to the track, Marquez only had time for one lap before the chequered flag, and it was far from perfect.

"I missed the apex, went on the wet part and lost a lot of time. Anyway I'm happy because sixth place is not so bad. I expected to be even more far because I missed one corner, but we are there. Only one row in front of us.

"We will see how the weather is tomorrow but the positive thing is that we were competitive in the dry conditions yesterday.

"And today in the wet we were very very competitive, especially in FP4."

Marquez - comfortably fastest in Free Practice 2, 3 and 4 - starts as the pre-race favourite, but the changeable weather means he has plenty of question marks ahead of the grand prix .

"I think if it's wet [my main rival] will be my team-mate Dani because he's really good to understand the track and understand the tyres. Also Zarco was very, very fast," he said.

"If it's dry, impossible to say. Crutchlow will be very fast again because he was fast on Friday.

"But it will be very, very important to choose the tyres. In the wet I think everybody will go medium-medium. In the dry, I don’t know - especially the rear. With the soft I feel okay, with the medium also."

Pedrosa will start from second position and Zarco third.

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, who beat Marquez in a close victory battle in Qatar, starts eighth.

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