Masterful Marquez storms to Aragon pole
Marc Marquez was untouchable as he blitzed to his fourth consecutive pole position at Aragon in Spain.
The MotoGP World Championship leader clocked a stunning lap in 1m 48.596s on the Repsol Honda to head up the front row by a massive six tenths from Maverick Vinales on the Ecstar Suzuki in a dramatic Q2.
Marquez - who was fortunate to escape injury in a big spill in FP3 - was head and shoulders above the rest but behind him a battle raged for the remaining front row places, with Cal Crutchlow in the mix until the LCR Honda rider crashed at Turn 1 in the dying moments.
Misano winner Dani Pedrosa was also caught out when the Repsol Honda rider was on a hot lap that would have potentially put him second on the grid.
As Vinales secured second place behind Marquez with lap in 1m 47.748s, it was reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo who powered through to snatch third on his final lap on the Movistar Yamaha, bumping Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso back to fourth.
Valentino Rossi, who trails Marquez by 43 points in the title chase, ended up in sixth place as he sealed the final position on row two behind a bitterly disappointed Crutchlow, who felt he had passed up a gilt-edged chance to qualify on the front row. Rossi also had a lucky escape after a big tumble in FP3.
An equally frustrated Pedrosa slipped down the order to seventh and will have to start Sunday's race from row three, although Pedrosa won last time out in San Marino from eighth on the grid.
He is joined by Aleix Espargaro (Ecstar Suzuki) and Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci, who qualified eighth and ninth respectively.
The fourth row is completed by Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati), Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Pol Espargaro and Stefan Bradl, who impressed on the Gresini Aprilia, qualifying 12th after progressing to Q2 along with Petrucci.
Avintia Racing's Hector Barbera heads up the fifth row with Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Aprilia) and Yonny Hernandez on the Aspar Ducati, while Eugene Laverty was 16th fastest on the second of the Aspar machines.
Irishman Laverty leads row six ahead of Michele Pirro on the factory Ducati and Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Honda).
American Nicky Hayden, who replaces the injured Jack Miller at Aragon, was 19th fastest ahead of Loris Baz (Avintia Racing) and British rider Alex Lowes on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha.
Lowes injured his foot following a spill in FP3 and did not compete in the afternoon. The World Superbike rider is due to be assessed ahead of the race on Sunday morning.