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May 28, 2017

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Marquez's domination continues with Indy pole

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana -- Marc Marquez's march to perfection stayed on course at Indianapolis.

The seemingly unbeatable 21-year-old Spaniard put himself in prime position Saturday to make history again after claiming his second straight Indianapolis Grand Prix pole. Marquez completed Indy's newly reconfigured 2.591-mile, 16-turn road course in 1 minute, 31.619 seconds, more than two-tenths of a second ahead of Italy's Andrea Dovizioso. Spain's Jorge Lorenzo qualified third for Sunday's race.

Marquez has won eight of the 10 poles this season and is the first back-to-back pole winner in this race's seven-year history. If he wins again Sunday, Marquez would become the youngest rider in series history with 10 straight wins and the first to ever win back-to-back at Indy.

"I feel good, especially for the race because I've got a good rhythm going," the defending world champ said.

If he keeps this up, the young Repos Honda star could clinch another championship in his home country Sept. 28 with four races left — regardless of how anyone else does.

He's also become rather comfortable in Indianapolis' famed Victory Lane. Marquez won Moto2 races here in 2011 and 2012, giving him a rare shot to win four straight at one of racing's most venerable venues.

But this one came with a few flaws. During the morning practice, Marquez made a rare miscue and wobbled on his bike in the 16th turn before regaining control. And qualifying, he drove past the first turn because he said he was going too fast.

Even a couple of small mistakes couldn't derail Marquez.

Dovizioso, the Ducati Team rider was clocked at a record-breaking 214.5 mph in the track's speed trap in the morning, found enough speed late in qualifying to challenge Marquez with a 1:31.844. Lorenzo, the 2009 Indy winner who rides for Moister Yamaha, was next at 1:31.869. Nobody else cracked 1:32.

And Marquez would like to keep make things look that easy one more time Sunday.

"Confidence is important tomorrow," he said. "I hope it's a normal race, good race and I'll fight for the victory."

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