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Terol beats Cortese to 125cc pole

Nico Terol took his anticipated pole position for the 125cc season-opener in Qatar, but only after a tough fight with Sandro Cortese.

Having retained his Aspar seat after finishing runner-up to Marc Marquez in last year's championship, and been quickest in all three practice sessions, Terol came into qualifying as a clear favourite for pole position.

He did not show his hand until the final five minutes, when he produced a 2m06.880s lap to take provisional pole by nearly a second.

But Team Germany's Cortese had an answer, sneaking ahead by a scant 0.001 seconds to steal the top spot a few minutes later.

Terol had more laps to go though, and managed to depose Cortese by 0.09s right at the end.

Ajo's Efren Vazquez completed the front row on the new-for-2011 three-bikes-per-row grid.

Sergio Gadea, Hector Faubel and Jonas Folger fill the rest of the top six.

Pos  Rider                 Team/Bike          Time       Gap
 1.  Nicolas Terol         Aspar Aprilia      2m06.605s
 2.  Sandro Cortese        Germany Aprilia    2m06.695s  + 0.090s
 3.  Efren Vazquez         Ajo Derbi          2m07.651s  + 1.046s
 4.  Sergio Gadea          Blusens Aprilia    2m07.857s  + 1.252s
 5.  Hector Faubel         Aspar Aprilia      2m08.062s  + 1.457s
 6.  Jonas Folger          Ajo Aprilia        2m08.298s  + 1.693s
 7.  Johann Zarco          Ajo Derbi          2m08.582s  + 1.977s
 8.  Alberto Moncayo       Andalucia Aprilia  2m08.683s  + 2.078s
 9.  Maverick Vinales      Blusens Aprilia    2m09.218s  + 2.613s
10.  Luis Salom            RW Aprilia         2m09.331s  + 2.726s
11.  Louis Rossi           Matteoni Aprilia   2m09.466s  + 2.861s
12.  Miguel Oliveira       Andalucia Aprilia  2m09.487s  + 2.882s
13.  Danny Kent            Ajo Aprilia        2m09.705s  + 3.100s
14.  Simone Grotzkyj       Phonica Aprilia    2m09.835s  + 3.230s
15.  Adrian Martin         Aspar Aprilia      2m09.859s  + 3.254s
16.  Niklas Ajo            TT Motion Aprilia  2m10.091s  + 3.486s
17.  Zulfahmi Khairuddin   Ajo Derbi          2m10.161s  + 3.556s
18.  Hiroki Ono            Forward KTM        2m10.223s  + 3.618s
19.  Luigi Morciano        Italia Aprilia     2m10.269s  + 3.664s
20.  Taylor Mackenzie      Phonica Aprilia    2m10.373s  + 3.768s
21.  Jasper Iwema          Ongetta Aprilia    2m10.559s  + 3.954s
22.  Marcel Schrotter      Mahindra           2m10.602s  + 3.997s
23.  Danny Webb            Mahindra           2m10.608s  + 4.003s
24.  Alessandro Tonucci    Italia Aprilia     2m11.335s  + 4.730s
25.  Joan Perello          Matteoni Aprilia   2m11.699s  + 5.094s
26.  Jakub Kornfeil        Ongetta Aprilia    2m12.180s  + 5.575s
27.  Giulian Pedone        Phonica Aprilia    2m12.341s  + 5.736s
28.  Harry Stafford        Ongetta Aprilia    2m13.379s  + 6.774s
29.  Daniel Kartheininger  Forward KTM        2m13.769s  + 7.164s
30.  Francesco Mauriello   WTR-Ten10 Aprilia  2m14.994s  + 8.389s

Outside 107 per cent:

     Sarath Kumar          WTR-Ten10 Aprilia  2m15.620s   + 9.015s
British GP competition
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Terol untouchable in 125cc opener