MotoGP title contender Francesco Bagnaia ends Marc Marquez's perfect pole position run at COTA, with championship leader Fabio Quartararo pushing the Repsol Honda rider to third - but it was still Marquez's first front-row of the season.

Rookie Jorge Martin was perfectly placed to be towed to the top by Marquez at the start of the Qualifying 2 session, before Marquez in turn benefitted by being in the wheeltracks of Alex Rins to grab provisional pole by the mid-session tyre change.

Marquez - who has won six of the previous seven COTA races - was then released behind practice pace-setter Jack Miller (down in eighth) for the start of his final run but couldn't improve on his earlier time.

Miller, fast all weekend, was visibly furious after managing just tenth place.

Martin's early lap was enough to secure head the second row ahead of Takaaki Nakagami and Johann Zarco.

Marquez won six of the seven COTA MotoGP races, falling while leading in 2019.

Johann Zarco is riding for the first time since arm pump surgery, while Suzuki's reigning champion Joan Mir - who joined Luca Marini in progressing through Qualifying 1 - has a Kevin Schwantz-style helmet and racing number this weekend.

MotoGP is returning to COTA for the first time since the 2019 event, after which further resurfacing work was carried out on around 40% of the track (Turns 1-2, 9-10, 16-19, plus the back straight) to alleviate bumps. However, bikes and riders are still being badly kicked around, especially through Turns 2 and 10.

As a result of the resurfacing and change of date from April, Michelin is providing a fourth rear tyre option (two hard compounds), while wet weather is also forecast.

COTA has the most corners (20) in MotoGP, including the slowest of the season at just 50km/h (Turn 11). The following back straight is the longest in MotoGP at 1.2km and ends with the hardest braking on the calendar, from over 330km/h to less than 60km/h.

Maverick Vinales has withdrawn from the COTA event after the tragic death of his young cousin Dean Berta Vinales in last weekend's Jerez WorldSSP300 race.

Quartararo will start Sunday's race with a 48-point lead over Bagnaia, winner of the last two rounds...

Austin MotoGP, COTA - Full Qualifying Results
PosRiderNatTeamTime/DiffLapMax
1Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)2'2.781s6/7344k
2Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.348s6/7342k
3Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.428s3/6342k
4Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)*+0.497s2/6346k
5Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+0.511s6/6343k
6Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)+0.598s3/7350k
7Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.672s6/7341k
8Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.747s3/6338k
9Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+0.765s2/3341k
10Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)+0.939s2/6342k
11Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.000s6/6343k
12Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+1.094s3/6345k
 Qualifying 1:     
13Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)2'3.872s5/6339k
14Andrea DoviziosoITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)2'4.044s7/7342k
15Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)2'4.1s7/7346k
16Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*2'4.118s6/6346k
17Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)2'4.324s6/7343k
18Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)2'4.392s6/6341k
19Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)2'4.419s5/5345k
20Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)2'4.699s3/6343k
21Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)2'4.829s6/7339k

* Rookie
Official COTA MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda 2m 2.135s (2015)
Fastest race lap:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda 2m 3.375s (2014)

By Peter McLaren