Moto3 lead the way in Austin and set the standard by seeing the circuit record broken by Jack Miller in a session dominated by the Australian.
Fresh from his Qatar win Miller looked again to be on good form for his Red Bull KTM Ajo team, setting his hot lap of 2m 16.342 with fifteen minutes left in the session.
Efren Vazquez came nearest to the Australians superb lap of the Circuit of the Americas, but settled for second after topping the final practice session.
2013 winner at Austin, Alex Rins, completes the front row in third, just one place ahead of his Estrella Galicia team-mate Alex Marquez who starts from the second row in fourth.
Niccolo Antonelli secured fifth for Go & Fun despite a late fall.
|Determined: Tito Rabat Photo:Marc VDS
The KTM of Jakub Kornfeil shot up the timesheets towards the end of the session and into sixth for Team Calvo. Alexis Masbou sits in seventh for Ongetta-Rivacold.
A late push saw Romano Fenati fight his way to eighth. Isaac Vinales and Brad Binder complete the top ten – Binder was the top Mahindra qualifier despite a late crash.
The British duo of John McPhee and Danny Kent were paired together on the timesheets virtually from start to finish. McPhee qualified best in 15 but remained just one place ahead of Kent on the grid in 16th aboard his Husqvarna.
French rider Johann Zarco looked to have Moto2 all sewn up. The Caterham Team rider had also broken the lap record for Moto2 and then dropped it further, only to see a rapid Tito Rabat snatch pole away at the death.
Rabat made in two poles in two races with a last quick lap of 2m 10.135 leading the way.
Joining Rabat’s Marc VDS Kalex and Zarco’s Suter on the front row is Dominique Aegerter, keen to do well after a rare DNF in Qatar for the Technomag team.
Xavier Simeon heads up the second row from fourth. The Belgian is joined by Italtrans rider Julian Simon and top rookie in qualifying Maverick Vinales, who has already posted an excellent fourth place finish on his Moto2 debut in Qatar after joining as reigning Moto3 champion.
Jonas Folger finds himelf on the third row for AGR and starts seventh ahead of Forward racing rider Simone Corsi, who narrowly missed being taken out by Sandro Cortese and Taka Nakagami, looking to move on from his air filter disqualification. They start eighth and ninth respectively.
Marcel Schrotter gave it everthing he had to complete the top ten starters for Tech3.
After winning Austin last year by three seconds Aspar’s Nico Terol was puzzlingly low down the list in 26thplace.
Sam Lowes couldn’t quite match his heroics from Qatar but as Speed Up’s top rider the Brit still starts from a respectable 17th in his first Austin Grand Prix.
Gino Rea had no luck yet again and after completing just three laps of COTA bike issues saw him forced to start from last position on the grid.
Moto3 Austin Qualifying Top Ten:
1. Jack Miller Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 2m 16.342
2. Efren Vazquez SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 2m 16.689
3. Alex Rins Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 2m 16.898
4. Alex Marquez Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 2m 17.352
5. Niccolò Antonelli Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 2m 17.380
6. Jakub Kornfeil Calvo Team (KTM) 2m 17.524
7. Alexis Masbou Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 2m 17.552
8. Romano Fenati SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 2m 17.603
9. Isaac Vinales Calvo Team (KTM) 2m 17.647
10. Brad Binder Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 2m 17.958
Moto2 Austin Qualifying Top Ten:
1. Esteve Rabat Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 2m 10.135
2. Johann Zarco AirAsia Caterham (Caterham Suter) 2m 10.401
3. Dominique Aegerter Technomag carXpert (Suter) 2m 10.422
4. Xavier Simeon Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 2m 10.666
5. Julian Simon Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 2m 10.702
6. Maverick Vinales Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 2m 10.708
7. Jonas Folger AGR Team (Kalex) 2m 10.748
8. Simone Corsi NGM Forward Racing (Forward KLX) 2m 10.789
9. Takaaki Nakagami Idemitsu Honda Team (Kalex) 2m 10.851
10. Marcel Schrotter Tech 3 (Tech 3) 2m 10.857