Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo claimed his fourth-straight pole position at the MotoGP US Grand Prix with the fastest qualifying time.
Lorenzo, who also earned his third pole of the season, on Saturday stole the top spot in the final seconds for Sunday's race by finishing ahead of runner-up Casey Stoner and third place Dani Pedrosa. Lorenzo had the fastest time of one minute, 20.554 seconds to finish .0074sec ahead of Stoner.
"I knew Casey and Dani were going to try and take pole but I really wanted it here in America," Lorenzo said. "I pushed to the limit, especially in the last corner, I was at full lean and opened the throttle really soon.
"In my first two tries for a perfect lap there was a lot of traffic so I had to wait for the right moment. The important thing is tomorrow, pole position is nice but anyway the race is what counts."
Lorenzo posted a dominant victory in Mugello in his last outing and has a 19 point lead in the championship standings over Pedrosa. He also took the pole position at the last three Laguna Seca races which is known for its infamous "Corkscrew" corner.
Pedrosa was superb in Friday's opening practice day but was unable to repeat the performance on Saturday.
American Ben Spies suffered a heavy crash Saturday but was able to hobble away from it on his own. He finished fourth while Cal Crutchlow, showing no signs of his crash on Friday, will start from the fifth spot.
Spies said he plans to see a doctor about his injured foot.
"We obviously had a crash which was unfortunate as I think we could have got on the front row," Spies said. "I was feeling really good I just maybe didn’t let the right side of the tyre heat up to quite the right temperature and had a pretty big high side.
"Anyway we got back out and were able to do the same times as before the crash. I need to get some x-rays to check my heel as I took a big hit on it in the crash."
Sixth spot on the grid goes to Italy's Andrea Dovizioso while Spain's Alvaro Bautista finished seventh.