Marc Marquez saved his best for the qualifying session's end with a pole position Saturday, topping a tightly bunched field. Marquez's place at the top of the grid at the Termas de Rio Hondo track -- the 81st pole of the Spaniard's career -- doesn't give him much breathing room, however.
Just over one tenth back sits a surprising Maverick Vinales. Like most of the field, Vinales saved his best run for the session's end briefly jumping to the top of the sheet before Marquez's final fast lap. Andrea Dovizioso shed some early problems from Friday practice to complete the front row.
Leading the second row -- and only bumped there after Marquez's last blistering lap -- lurks Vaelntino Rossi. Yamaha has clearly discovered some inprovements at the 4.8 km (3 mi.) track with all four of the company's bikes in the top 10 for Q2. And not one of them had to go through Q1 to get there.
Right next to Rossi will be Jack Miller, who has been fast all weekend. Miller got to the top of the sheet early but then drifted rearward during the hectic final two minutes. Franco Morbidelli (6th) finished the second row as the top satellite Yamaha, just one-hundredth of a second clear of teammate Fabio Quartararo (7th). Cal Crutchlow, who spent much of practice on Marquez's heel -- he was one-tenth from the World Champion a just an hour earlier in FP4 -- now finds himself a half a second in arrears and eighth on the grid.
Takaaki Nakagami, who finished at the top rider in Q1, parlayed that strong ride into ninth on the grid for Sunday's race, closely folowed by factory Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci. Jorge Lorenzo appears to be slowly returing to form by making it straight into Q2. But he was unable to improve on his position within the lead group and ended the session at the end of the fourth row.
The forecast for Sunday's race is mixed at this point.