(CNN)Marc Marquez claimed pole position at the British MotoGP with a scintillating record qualifying time Saturday.
The 22-year-old Honda rider is the defending MotoGP champion but has struggled to keep pace with championship leaders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi of Yamaha this season.
But Marquez rounded the Silverstone circuit in just two minutes 00.234 seconds to smash the existing record lap time (two minutes 00.691 seconds) he himself set back in 2013.
"It was a good qualifying session," Marquez later said in comments carried by MotoGP.com. "When I did the first lap I noticed that if put together the perfect lap, maybe I could get very close to one minute 59 seconds.
"But I noticed I was right on the limit a couple of times, and especially in the last sector I was missing a little something under braking. In the end what counts is that we took pole position. You can always improve, but it was a very good lap."
Lorenzo will start from second spot on the grid alongside Spaniard Dani Pedrosa who completes the front row.
Rossi was fourth fastest and will lead the second row alongside Yamaha-Tech3 riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith.
Smith later spoke of his determination to give the crowd at his home track something to cheer about.
"I am pleased with my starting position for tomorrow's race on the second row and I'm ready to do my best in front of my home fans," Smith said.
"I feel good. I hope that the weather remains dry as a lot of English fans are coming out to cheer for me, so I will do my absolute best to not disappoint them by fighting inside the top six or higher."
Lorenzo and Rossi currently top the world standings on 211 points with Marquez on 159 heading into the 12th of 18 races that make up the 2015 season.