Marc Marquez took his fourth pole position in succession for the Indianapolis Grand Prix but that only tells half the story of a nail biting qualifying battle. For much of the session, it looked as if Simone Corsi was going to claim his first pole in three years, and the Italian will never come closer than he did today.

The Ioda Racing FTR hit the front immediately when qualifying began, setting a 1:44.964 and incredibly, Corsi was confident enough to sit in the pits for the best part of 20 minutes as his rivals tried in vain to beat him.

With eight minutes left on the clock, his resistance was finally broken by Scott Redding as the Briton looked to repeat the form that saw him set the pace in final practice. By this time, Corsi had finally ventured back out on track and lowered the target time to a 1:44.259 before Marquez joined the party, lapping a tenth quicker.

Andrea Iannone also emerged as a contender in the dying minutes, moving into second place, while Bradley Smith jumped up to fourth with a well-timed effort. Timing was everything in the fight for pole too and Corsi regained top spot as the chequered flag flew, prompting joyous scenes on the Ioda Racing pit wall.

The celebrations proved slightly premature though as Marquez was bearing down on the finish line himself. The title hopeful snatched pole position by just one thousandth of a second, forcing Corsi to settle for second.

Iannone and Smith were both more than satisfied with third and fourth as they navigated their way through traffic. Thomas Luthi also found a clear lap to take fifth with Mattia Pasini qualifying a season's best of sixth.

Pol Espargaro claimed an excellent seventh while Dominique Aegerter finished eighth on the sole remaining Technomag-CIP Suter. Esteve Rabat and Alex De Angelis both held places on the front row in the closing minutes but the mad scramble at the end dropped them to ninth and tenth.

After his practice promise, Scott Redding will have been frustrated with 11th but his problems were nothing compared to those of Stefan Bradl. The championship leader crashed in morning practice and never looked on the pace in qualifying, ending up in a lowly 22nd.


Qualifying Result:

Pos Rider Nat Bike Team Time/Gap
1 Marc Marquez SPA Suter Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol 1:44.038
2 Simone Corsi ITA FTR Ioda Racing Project +0.001
3 Andrea Iannone ITA Suter Speed Master +0.120
4 Bradley Smith GBR Tech 3 Tech 3 Racing +0.306
5 Thomas Luthi SWI Suter Interwetten Paddock Moto2 +0.585
6 Mattia Pasini ITA FTR Ioda Racing Project +0.694
7 Pol Espargaro SPA FTR HP Tuenti Speed Up +0.747
8 Dominique Aegerter SWI Suter Technomag-CIP +0.756
9 Esteve Rabat SPA FTR Blusens-STX +0.821
10 Alex de Angelis RSM Motobi JIR Moto2 +0.826
11 Scott Redding GBR Suter Marc VDS Racing Team +0.827
12 Jules Cluzel FRA Suter NGM Forward Racing +1.005
13 Michele Pirro ITA Moriwaki Gresini Racing Moto2 +1.009
14 Ricard Cardus SPA Moriwaki QMMF Racing Team +1.022
15 Julian Simon SPA Suter Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 +1.024
16 Max Neukirchner GER MZ-RE Honda MZ Racing Team +1.056
17 Aleix Espargaro SPA Pons Kalex Pons HP 40 +1.098
18 Mika Kallio FIN Suter Marc VDS Racing Team +1.122
19 Raffaele de Rosa ITA Suter NGM Forward Racing +1.135
20 Yuki Takahashi JAP Moriwaki Gresini Racing Moto2 +1.146
21 Jordi Torres SPA Suter Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 +1.331
22 Stefan Bradl GER Kalex Viessman Kiefer Racing +1.333
23 Randy Krummenacher SWI Kalex GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing +1.410
24 Xavier Simeon BEL Tech 3 Tech 3 B +1.458
25 Mike Di Meglio FRA Tech 3 Tech 3 Racing +1.496
26 Claudio Corti ITA Suter Italtrans Racing Team +1.644
27 Ratthapark Wilairot THA FTR Thai Honda Singha SAG +1.851
28 Carmelo Morales SPA Suter Desguaces La Torre G22 +2.021
29 Kenny Noyes USA FTR Avintia-STX +2.048
30 Anthony West AUS MZ-RE Honda MZ Racing Team +2.122
31 Martin Cardenas COL FTR Blusens-STX +2.137
32 Alex Baldolini ITA Pons Kalex Pons HP 40 +2.209
33 Jacob Gagne (WC) USA FTR GPTech +2.556
34 Valentin Debise FRA FTR Speed Up +2.915
35 JD Beach USA FTR Aeroport de Castello +3.181
36 Mashel Al Naimi QAT Moriwaki QMMF Racing Team +3.305
37 Robertino Pietri VEN Suter Italtrans Racing Team +3.401
38 Santiago Hernandez COL FTR SAG Team +4.132
107% Time: 2:11.068
NQ Kenan Sofuoglu TUR Suter Technomag-CIP Injured