Nico Terol continued his perfect start to the new 125c season by taking pole position for the Grand Prix of Qatar.

The Bankia Aspar rider was comfortably fastest in all three practice sessions but was pushed all the way in qualifying by German Sandro Cortese. The Intact-Racing Team Germany star was the only man to take the fight to title favourite Terol, and held the top spot for the majority of the session.

After moving to the front with a 2:07.855, Cortese held pole position at the halfway stage. The German had been using all of the track, and more besides, to keep pace with his rival.

The late rush for times then triggered a head-to-head duel between the top two.

Terol was the first man in the 2:06s, despite a near collision with Luigi Morciano, and looked to have pole sewn up until Cortese beat him by the narrowest of margins, one thousandth of a second.

With the chequered flag flying, Terol responded with a 2:06.605 to eventually claim the first pole position of the 2011 season.

With just three riders per row in each class this year, Efren Vazquez rounded out the front row, albeit a full second behind the top two. Sergio Gadea picked his way through the traffic to take fourth, ahead of the second Aspar entrant, Hector Faubel, with Jonas Folger completing row two.

Teammate Danny Kent was the top Brit in 13th, just behind newcomer Miguel Oliveira. The Portuguese was overshadowed by fellow rookie Maverick Vinales, who starred throughout the session on his way to 9th.

Taylor Mackenzie produced his best performance of the weekend to finish 20th, one row ahead of Mahindra Racing's Danny Webb.

Harry Stafford certainly had the toughest time of the British quartet. Having not set a time until the final five minutes, the former Red Bull Rookie eventually sneaked in with the 28th fastest time.

Theriders will warm-up later this evening ahead of the opening round of 125cc season at 16:00 GMT on Sunday.

Pos Rider Team Lap Time Gap
1 Nico Terol Bankia Aspar Team 2:06.605  
2 Sandro Cortese Intact-Racing Team Germany 2:06.695 +0.090
3 Efren Vazquez Avant-AirAsia-Ajo 2:07.651 +1.046
4 Sergio Gadea Pev-Blusens-SMX-Paris-Hilton 2:07.857 +1.252
5 Hector Faubel Bankia Aspar Team 2:08.062 +1.457
6 Jonas Folger Red Bull Ajo MotorSport 2:08.298 +1.693
7 Johann Zarco Avant-AirAsia-Ajo 2:08.582 +1.977
8 Alberto Moncayo Andalucía Banca Civica 2:08.683 +2.078
9 Maverick Vinales Pev-Blusens-SMX-Paris-Hilton 2:09.218 +2.613
10 Luis Salom RW Racing GP 2:09.331 +2.726
11 Louis Rossi Matteoni Racing 2:09.466 +2.861
12 Miguel Oliveira Andalucía Banca Civica 2:09.487 +2.882
13 Danny Kent Red Bull Ajo MotorSport 2:09.705 +3.100
14 Simone Grotzkyj Phonica Racing 2:09.835 +3.230
15 Adrian Martin Bankia Aspar Team 2:09.859 +3.254
16 Niklas Ajo TT Motion Events Racing 2:10.091 +3.486
17 Zulfahmi Khairuddin AirAsia-Sic-Ajo 2:10.161 +3.556
18 Hiroki Ono Caretta Technology Forward Team 2:10.223 +3.618
19 Luigi Morciano Team Italia FMI 2:10.269 +3.664
20 Taylor Mackenzie Phonica Racing 2:10.373 +3.768
21 Jasper Iwema Ongetta-Abbink-Metaal 2:10.559 +3.954
22 Marcel Schrotter Mahindra Racing 2:10.602 +3.997
23 Danny Webb Mahindra Racing 2:10.608 +4.003
24 Alessandro Tonucci Team Italia FMI 2:11.335 +4.728
25 Joan Perello Matteoni Racing 2:11.699 +5.094
26 Jakub Kornfeil Ongetta-Centro-Seta 2:12.160 +5.555
27 Giulian Pedone Phonica Racing 2:12.341 +5.736
28 Harry Stafford Ongetta-Centro-Seta 2:13.379 +6.774
29 Daniel Kartheininger Caretta Technology Forward Team 2:13.769 +7.164
30 Francesco Mauriello WTR-Ten10 Racing 2:14.994 +8.389
NQ Sarath Kumar WTR-Ten10 Racing 2:15.620 +9.015