Sandro Cortese followed up his practice promise by taking pole position for the 125cc Grand Prix of Spain. The German took the third pole of his career, snatching it in the final couple of minutes from Nico Terol.
Qualifying went as expected with the men who finished first and second in Qatar two weeks ago having a private battle for the top spot.
It was Terol who made the first meaningful challenge by setting a 1:48.199 at the halfway point, going three tenths quicker than Efren Vazquez.
Aspar teammate Hector Faubel slotted in behind his teammate before Cortese split them with a 1:48.284.
After the main protagonists returned to the pits, Jonas Folger made use of the clear track to go fourth with his teammate Danny Kent also making inroads, moving into the top ten.
Terol re-emerged to extend his lead at the top, going nearly half a second faster, with Faubel sneaking in front of Cortese to make it an Aspar 1-2.
The Intact–Racing Team Germany rider wouldn't be denied though as he produced a blistering lap of 1:48.399, and despite a final attempt from Terol, pole went to the German. Faubel hung onto third despite a late charge from Efren Vazquez. The Avant–AirAsia–Ajo rider was a second off the pace but he will still head the second row, with teammate Johann Zarco alongside him. Luis Salom will start sixth.
There is plenty of potential for fireworks on the third row with 17-year-old Jonas Folger joined by a couple more teenagers. Miguel Oliveira was mixing it with the front runners early on but slipped back to eighth, with Britain’s Danny Kent completing the third row.
Sergio Gadea qualified a disappointing eleventh and will start just ahead of his rookie teammate Maverick Vinales.
Taylor Mackenzie continued his strong weekend with 16th place and outqualified his teammate Simone Grotzkyj who suffered a fall on his first run.
Danny Webb had a difficult session, with mechanical problems with his Mahindra bike preventing him from setting a time until the final 15 minutes. He eventually made it out on track to take an excellent 19th, eight places ahead of the fourth Brit, Harry Stafford.
So Sandro Cortese has given himself the perfect springboard to take his first Grand Prix victory. He will start from pole when the red lights go out at 10:00 BST on Sunday.
|1||Sandro Cortese||Intact-Racing Team Germany||1:47.399|
|2||Nico Terol||Bankia Aspar Team||1:47.608||+0.209|
|3||Hector Faubel||Bankia Aspar Team||1:47.969||+0.570|
|6||Luis Salom||RW Racing GP||1:48.791||+1.392|
|7||Jonas Folger||Red Bull Ajo MotorSport||1:48.799||+1.400|
|8||Miguel Oliveira||AndalucÃa Banca Civica||1:48.825||+1.426|
|9||Danny Kent||Red Bull Ajo MotorSport||1:49.181||+1.782|
|10||Alberto Moncayo||AndalucÃa Banca Civica||1:49.247||+1.848|
|13||Louis Rossi||Matteoni Racing||1:49.682||+2.283|
|14||Adrian Martin||Bankia Aspar Team||1:49.785||+2.386|
|16||Taylor Mackenzie||Phonica Racing||1:49.977||+2.578|
|19||Danny Webb||Mahindra Racing||1:50.169||+2.770|
|20||Josep Rodriguez||Wild Wolf-Racc-MS||1:50.258||+2.859|
|21||Hiroki Ono||Caretta Technology Forward Team||1:50.276||+2.877|
|22||Simone Grotzkyj||Phonica Racing||1:50.367||+2.968|
|23||Marcel Schrotter||Mahindra Racing||1:50.465||+3.066|
|24||Niklas Ajo||TT Motion Events Racing||1:50.492||+3.093|
|25||Luigi Morciano||Team Italia FMI||1:50.611||+3.212|
|26||Alessandro Tonucci||Team Italia FMI||1:50.971||+3.572|
|28||Giulian Pedone||Phonica Racing||1:51.687||+4.288|
|29||Daniel Kaertheininger||Caretta Technology Forward Team||1:51.714||+4.315|
|30||Joan Perello||Matteoni Racing||1:52.262||+4.863|
|32||Kevin Hanus||Team Hanusch||1:53.236||+5.837|
|33||Francesco Mauriello||WTR-Ten10 Racing||1:54.097||+6.698|
|107% Time: 1:54.917|
|NQ||Sarath Kumar||WTR-Ten10 Racing||1:55.366||+7.967|