Marc Marquez sizzles in qualifying for MotoGP's Grand Prix of Americas
April 13, 2014 -- Updated 0033 GMT (0833 HKT)
Marc Marquez won the first race of the new MotoGP season and he finished fastest in qualifying Saturday for the second race.
- Reigning MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez is on pole Sunday in Austin
- Marquez sets a record time in qualifying for Grand Prix of the Americas
- He finishes nearly 0.3 seconds ahead of Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa
- Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi start fifth and sixth, respectively
Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook
(CNN) -- Marc Marquez barely held off the legendary Valentino Rossi in a nail-biting conclusion to the opening race of the 2014 MotoGP season in Qatar but judging by his performances this weekend the second race won't be as close.
Marquez, the reigning world champion from Spain, finished well ahead of the pack Saturday in qualifying for the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, setting a record lap time and beating Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa by 0.289 seconds.
He was the fastest rider in practice yesterday, too.
Lorenzo: Motorcycling is like dancing
Passion drives F1 champ
"All weekend it has been going so well, but Sunday is the most important," Marquez told MotoGP's website. "We will have to push very hard the whole race.
"It will be an important start to the race when the tires are new, we can make a difference there before they start to slide. I'm happy with the base we have and we'll try to fight for the victory. I'm sure we'll be fighting with Pedrosa, he is our strongest rival."
Germany's Stefan Bradl starts third for LCR Honda, while two-time MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo and Rossi, his fellow Yamaha racer, begin fifth and sixth, respectively.
"The progression from the first practice on Friday is very big, we were two seconds behind and now half a second," said Lorenzo. "Anyway, as I thought, it's going to be a hard race tomorrow.
"Our goal is to fight for fourth or third position. I think it would be a good result because here our competitors are really strong so we need to make the best result we can. To finish on the podium would be a good thing."
Read: Marquez on top in Qatar
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1039 GMT (1839 HKT)
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.