Marquez crashes before taking controversial pole in Austin
Marc Marquez put his Argentina nightmare behind him by continuing his Grand Prix of the Americas dominance to take pole, but not without drama as he crashed and was also investigated for an incident involving Maverick Vinales.
Defending MotoGP champion Marquez was accused of destroying the sport by Valentino Rossi after crashing into the Italian at Autodromo Termas de Río Hondo, where the Spaniard finished 18th after also being given penalties for making contact with Aleix Espargaro and delaying the start.
Normal service was resumed at a happy hunting ground a fortnight later, the Repsol Honda rider storming to a sixth pole out of six at the Circuit of the Americas, but it was not all plain sailing.
A slow-moving Marquez incurred the wrath of Rossi's team-mate Vinales when he appeared in his compatriot's way as the Movistar Yamaha man strived to secure the front spot on the grid on his first flying lap, prompting the stewards to look.
Vinales abandoned the lap and gesticulated at Marquez after passing him and had to settle for second place, the champion's lap of two minutes 3.658 seconds enough to maintain his perfect qualifying record in Texas and give him a great chance of winning the race for a sixth time out of six on Sunday.
Marquez ended up in the gravel with eight minutes of qualifying remaining after losing control at Turn 13, but got straight up and was able to return to the track.
Andrea Iannone was third ahead of Johann Zarco, while Rossi will start in fifth spot and championship leader Cal Crutchlow could only qualify in seventh.
Dani Pedrosa will be back in ninth just over a week after undergoing wrist surgery.
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda): 2:03.658secs
2. Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha): 2:04.064secs
3. Andrea Iannone (Suzuki): 2:04.209s
4. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3): 2:04.210s
5. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha): 2:04.229s
6. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati): 2:04.294s
7. Cal Crutchlow (Aprilia): 2:04.456s
8. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati): 2:04.865s
9. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda): 2:04.963s
10. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac): 2:05.058s