(Reuters) – French rookie Fabio Quartararo denied MotoGP champion Marc Marquez a home pole position in the final qualifying session of the season at the Valencia circuit in eastern Spain on Saturday.
The Petronas Yamaha rider lapped the Ricardo Tormo track with a best time of one minute 29.978 seconds, 0.032 quicker than Honda’s Marquez, who sealed his sixth world championship last month.
The pole was Quartararo’s sixth of the season, and he will be hoping for a breakthrough first win in the top category on Sunday.
Australian Jack Miller, for the non-works Pramac Ducati team, completed the front row in third place.
Italian great Valentino Rossi qualified only 12th for Yamaha.
Marquez’s compatriot and team mate Jorge Lorenzo, a three times MotoGP champion with 43 career poles, will line up for his last race before retirement in 16th place.
(Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Christian Radnedge)