Nicolas Terol fended off his teammate Hector Faubel to take his fourth pole position of the 2011 125cc World Championship at Barcelona.
After wiped the floor with the opposition in morning practice, Terol was the hot favourite to take pole but didn't enjoy the same domination in qualifying, with Faubel getting to within 0.402s of the championship leader.
Terol hit the front just before the halfway stage of the session after Johann Zarco held provisional pole. The Frenchman was the first rider into the 1:52s, lapping in 1:52.828 before Terol went three quarters of a second faster.
But as the riders ventured out for their final runs, Faubel benefitted from the slipstream coming from the third Aspar Aprilia of Adrian Martin and set a 1:51.683. Terol responded instantly though and clocked a 1:51.281, the fastest lap of the weekend to seal pole position.
Faubel will join his teammate on the front row, as will Le Mans winner Maverick Vinales. The 16-year-old sneaked into third after the chequered flag had fallen and has a good chance of providing team owner Paris Hilton, who is expected to attend the race on Sunday, with something to cheer.
The two Avant–AirAsia–Ajo Derbis head up the second row with Johann Zarco ahead of Efren Vazquez. Sandro Cortese will start sixth but will hope his race ends better than his qualifying session, after the German crashed at turn five on his final lap.
Jonas Folger pulled it out of the bag in the dying seconds to take seventh place ahead of Luis Salom and Sergio Gadea who, yet again, was soundly beaten by his teenage teammate Vinales.
Danny Kent had a strong session and looked on course for a place on the second row of the grid, climbing as high as fifth with time ticking away. Unfortunately for the Briton, the flurry of late improvements dropped him to 11th and he will start on the fourth row.
Danny Webb is just one row further back after giving Mahindra their best qualifying result of the season, the 20-year -old set easily his best time of the weekend to go 14th. Harry Stafford will start on the eighth row in 24th, two places ahead of John McPhee with Taylor Mackenzie bringing up the rear in 34th.
|1||Nicolas Terol||SPA||Bankia Aspar Team||1:51.281|
|2||Hector Faubel||SPA||Bankia Aspar Team||1:51.683||+0.402|
|3||Maverick Vinales||SPA||Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing||1:52.099||+0.818|
|6||Sandro Cortese||GER||Intact-Racing Team Germany||1:52.449||+1.168|
|7||Jonas Folger||GER||Red Bull Ajo MotorSport||1:52.476||+1.195|
|8||Luis Salom||SPA||RW Racing GP||1:52.629||+1.348|
|9||Sergio Gadea||SPA||Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing||1:52.635||+1.354|
|10||Adrian Martin||SPA||Bankia Aspar Team||1:52.747||+1.466|
|11||Danny Kent||GBR||Red Bull Ajo MotorSport||1:52.859||+1.578|
|12||Alberto Moncayo||SPA||AndalucÃa Banca Civica||1:53.224||+1.943|
|14||Danny Webb||GBR||Mahindra Racing||1:53.640||+2.359|
|16||Miguel Oliveira||POR||AndalucÃa Banca Civica||1:53.801||+2.520|
|17||Alexis Masbou||FRA||Caretta Technology||1:53.804||+2.523|
|18||Simone Grotzkyj||ITA||Phonica Racing||1:54.044||+2.763|
|20||Marcel Schrotter||GER||Mahindra Racing||1:54.126||+2.845|
|21||Louis Rossi||FRA||Matteoni Racing||1:54.197||+2.916|
|22||Luigi Morciano||ITA||Team Italia FMI||1:54.422||+3.141|
|23||Niklas Ajo||FIN||TT Motion Events Racing||1:54.682||+3.401|
|26||John McPhee||GBR||Racing Steps Foundation KRP||1:55.486||+4.205|
|27||Francesco Mauriello||ITA||WTR-Ten10 Racing||1:55.596||+4.315|
|28||Giulian Pedone||SWI||Phonica Racing||1:55.895||+4.614|
|29||Sturla Fagerhaug||NOR||WTR-Ten10 Racing||1:56.384||+5.103|
|30||Peter Sebestyen||HUN||Caretta Technology||1:56.431||+5.150|
|31||Joan Perello||SPA||Matteoni Racing||1:56.533||+5.252|
|32||Alessandro Tonucci||ITA||Team Italia FMI||1:56.982||+5.701|
|29||Kevin Hanus||GER||Team Hanush||1:57.975||+6.694|
|34||Taylor Mackenzie||GBR||Phonica Racing||1:58.533||+7.252|
|107% Time: 1:59.071|