Marc Marquez celebrated his 65th career pole position and 37th in the elite class after leading qualifying for the Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island.
The Honda rider who wrapped up his third world championship title in Japan last weekend, is hunting a sixth race win of the season 30th career MotoGP victory.
British Honda rider Cal Crutchlow will start Sunday’s race from second on the grid.
He finishing the session 0.792s behind his Spanish rival.
Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro and his brother Aleix – riding for Suzuki – produced a fine display down under and took third and fourth respectively courtesy of a flying final lap.
In doing so they broke home hearts by denying local rider Jack Miller a place on the front row. Instead the Australia with start from fifth.
Italian Danilo Petrucci will complete the second row.