Marc Marquez took arguably the most impressive pole position of his career with the world champion recovering from a mechanical failure to set the pace at the Circuit of the Americas.
After the first qualifying runs Marquez was fastest, and instantly within a tenth of his lap record from last year. However, on his final exit Marquez had a problem with his bike when leaving the pits with the bike needing multiple efforts to start and then at the end of his outlap the bike stopped suddenly on the home straight and he had to run down pitlane to get back out on his second bike with just two and a half minutes remaining.
Andrea Dovizioso was second faster but over three tenths adrift with Jorge Lorenzo rounding out the front row in an entralling session. Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding will start from the second row with Bradley Smith tenth fastest.
Crutchlow went to the top of the timesheets with a stunning time in the final minutes but ultimately he dropped back but this is the latest vindication of his pace in Qatar. The LCR Honda rider has a new chassis this weekend and he has looked comfortable on track. Speaking about the new chassis Crutchlow said that the goal of the upgrade was to create a more consistent bike so his rhythm in the race will be a point of interest.
Redding, who had a miserable time in Qatar, has looked much stronger this weekend with Marc VDS having changed his setup and the proof of their labours was in the pudding of qualifying. Redding, who made it through to Q2 by virtue of setting a top ten practice time, was half a second off the pace but very impressive.
Andrea Iannone needed to attempts in QP1 to make it through to the second session but once through he was able to qualify in seventh with the Italian using the medium tyre in qualifying rather than the softer tyre available to the Factory Option class bikes. A last gasp lap from Maverick Vinales grabbed him a spot in Q2 and he was able to convert that into 12th on the grid to line up one row behind his teammate, Aleix Espargaro.
Hector Barbera was the only rider capable of competing with Iannone and Vinales in Q1 with Stefan Bradl having a solid performance to finish fourth fastest to line up 14th on the grid. Eugene Laverty will started 17th after outqualifying the other Open Honda's and Hiroshi Aoyama on the Factory Repsol Honda rider. Laverty has had plenty of problems throughout the weekend but his lap left him three tenths faster than Jack Miller and seven tenths faster than his Aspar teammate Nicky Hayden.