Nico Terol remains on course for a hat-trick of wins at the start of the 2011 125cc World Championship after taking pole position at Estoril.

In truth, pole position was never in doubt for the Championship leader, who already had secured top spot before going even quicker at the very end of the session. His time of 1:46.556 was seven tenths of a second quicker than Sandro Cortese. As he had been in the first two races, the German was Terol's closest challenger in qualifying trim.

Joining them at the front will be Portuguese youngster Miguel Oliveira. The 16-year-old was knocked out of the top three by Hector Faubel but Oliveira produced a stunning final effort to secure a front row start at his home grand prix.

Faubel was forced to settle for fourth on the grid, over a second behind his teammate with Alberto Moncayo joining him on the second row, completing a magnificent day for Andalucía Banca Civica. Johann Zarco will start alongside in sixth and is well placed to challenge for his second consecutive podium.

Nico Terol's nearest challenger in the World Championship standings is Jonas Folger, but the German couldn't match his form from Jerez and will start back in eighth.

His Red Bull Ajo MotorSport teammate Danny Kent had an even tougher time. After going second quickest in Saturday's wet final practice session, the Chippenham rider entered qualifying full of confidence but crashed at turn one midway through the session. With each rider restricted to just one bike, Kent was forced to sit out the rest of the session and dropped to a frustrating 23rd.

With conditions slippery off line, turn one caught out countless riders. Taylor Mackenzie was the first to go down after a high side on his Aprilia. Newcomer Peter Sebestyen produced a carbon copy minutes later before Japanese rider Hiroki Ono also fell, taking Sergio Gadea with him.

Harry Stafford shone for OngettaCentroSeta, climbing up to 17th with his last lap of the session to secure his best qualifying result of the season so far.

Danny Webb will start next door in 18th while Taylor Mackenzie was forced to settle for 26th after his accident.

Pos Rider Team Lap Time Gap
1 Nico Terol Bankia Aspar Team 1:46.556  
2 Sandro Cortese Intact-Racing Team Germany 1:47.270 +0.714
3 Miguel Oliveira Andalucía Banca Civica 1:47.405 +0.849
4 Hector Faubel Bankia Aspar Team 1:47.600 +1.044
5 Alberto Moncayo Andalucía Banca Civica 1:47.750 +1.194
6 Johann Zarco Avant-AirAsia-Ajo 1:48.353 +1.797
7 Luis Salom RW Racing GP 1:48.498 +1.942
8 Jonas Folger Red Bull Ajo MotorSport 1:48.557 +2.001
9 Efren Vazquez Avant-AirAsia-Ajo 1:48.594 +2.038
10 Adrian Martin Bankia Aspar Team 1:48.639 +2.083
11 Maverick Vinales Pev-Blusens-SMX-Paris-Hilton 1:48.673 +2.117
12 Sergio Gadea Pev-Blusens-SMX-Paris-Hilton 1:48.936 +2.380
13 Louis Rossi Matteoni Racing 1:48.959 +2.403
14 Simone Grotzkyj Phonica Racing 1:49.237 +2.681
15 Zulfahmi Khairuddin AirAsia-Sic-Ajo 1:49.607 +3.051
16 Jakub Kornfeil Ongetta-Centro-Seta 1:49.638 +3.082
17 Harry Stafford Ongetta-Centro-Seta 1:50.090 +3.534
18 Danny Webb Mahindra Racing 1:50.167 +3.611
19 Niklas Ajo TT Motion Events Racing 1:50.195 +3.639
20 Jasper Iwema Ongetta-Abbink-Metaal 1:50.197 +3.641
21 Hiroki Ono Caretta Technology 1:50.433 +3.877
22 Luigi Morciano Team Italia FMI 1:50.559 +4.003
23 Danny Kent Red Bull Ajo MotorSport 1:50.587 +4.031
24 Giulian Pedone Phonica Racing 1:50.875 +4.319
25 Joan Perello Matteoni Racing 1:51.608 +5.052
26 Taylor Mackenzie Phonica Racing 1:51.803 +5.247
27 Marcel Schrotter Mahindra Racing 1:52.280 +5.724
28 Peter Sebestyen Caretta Technology 1:53.508 +6.952
29 Francesco Mauriello WTR-Ten10 Racing 1:53.740 +7.184
107% Time: 1:54.015
NQ Kevin Hanus Team Hanusch 1:54.875 +8.319
NQ Sarath Kumar WTR-Ten10 Racing 1:55.530 +8.974
NQ Alessandro Tonucci Team Italia FMI No Time (Injured)