Marquez had trailed the leaders in final practice, but came within 0.298 seconds of pole, and was just 0.051s behind Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
But asked if he felt a second successive victory was now achievable, Marquez replied: "I don't think so. We'll try to do our best.
"Today the front row is so important for us because on this circuit we are struggling quite a lot.
"In qualifying I tried to do my best and I was quite close. It was better than what I expected before qualifying.
"For tomorrow, I have good confidence but I think Jorge and Dani are going to be in front of me. I will try to be consistent and calm."
Pedrosa was one of several riders to crash late in qualifying, but played down the incident.
"I was pushing a little too hard in that corner," he said of his high-speed low-side.
"I don't know why it happened, I think maybe the track was a little different. We already saw some crashes in Moto3 and MotoGP.
"I just lost the front but fortunately I'm OK. The bike seems quite good for tomorrow.
"The rhythm is the key thing here but it looks like several riders have good pace so maybe the race will be tight."
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