(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."