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MotoGP leader Marquez on pole for his 200th grand prix

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MADRID (Reuters) – MotoGP leader Marc Marquez chalked up his ninth pole of the season at his home Aragon Grand Prix on Saturday with French rookie Fabio Quartararo stepping up again as the Spaniard’s main challenger.

The Honda rider, 93 points clear of Italian Andrea Dovizioso in the championship with six races remaining, lapped the anti-clockwise MotorLand circuit near Alcaniz with a best lap of one minute 47.009 seconds.

Quartararo, runner-up to Marquez at the previous San Marino Grand Prix and the only non-Spanish rider to start on pole so far this season, was 0.327 slower for the non-works Petronas Yamaha team.

Yamaha’s Spaniard Maverick Vinales completed the front row with Australian Jack Miller fourth for Pramac Ducati and Dovizioso a distant 10th for the works Ducati team. Italian great Valentino Rossi qualified sixth for Yamaha.

Sunday will be five-times MotoGP champion Marquez’s 200th grand prix start in all categories.

Spaniard Pol Espargaro, who rides for KTM, will miss the race after fracturing his left wrist when he crashed in practice.

That left Finland’s Mika Kallio as the team’s sole rider in his first outing of the season after KTM split with Frenchman Johann Zarco.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Clare Fallon)

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