Marquez survives two crashes to take Argentina Grand Prix pole

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Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina) (AFP)

Two-time world champion Marc Marquez survived a crash-hit afternoon to take pole position for the Grand Prix of Argentina on Saturday.

The Spaniard, who won at the Rio Hondo track in 2014, twice came off the circuit but recovered to claim the fastest time of 1min 39.411sec on his Honda.

Nine-time champion Valentino Rossi was second on a Yamaha at the circuit where he won in 2015 with reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo, the winner of the season-opener in Qatar last month, taking third on the grid in the second Yamaha.

For Marquez, it was a 31st career pole but he did it the hard way, coming off the track on two occasions in qualifying.

Spanish compatriot Lorenzo also survived a nasty crash in the fourth and final free practice session on a track which has been widely criticised for being dirty and uneven.