By Lisa Lewis

German Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Sandro Cortese finished qualifying in pole position with a time of 1:47.145, his second pole position this season, with championship rival Maverick Vinales second on the Blusens Avintia FTR Honda.

Local hopeful Miguel Oliveira claimed third late in the session with his Suter Honda, making for a mix of manufacturers on the front row and knocking Cortese's team mate, Britain's Danny Kent down to fourth, still his best ever qualifying performance.

Malaysian Zulfahmi Khairuddin put in another impressive performance on his Air Asia sponsored KTM Ajo with a late hot lap placing him fifth and moving rookie teen Romano Fenati down to sixth on the Team Italia FMI, equalling his best qualifying so far in Qatar, his winning performance in Jerez saw him start from just tenth on the grid.

Spaniard Luis Salom kept the solid form that sees him sitting third in the championship by qualifying his Kalex KTM in seventh, the experienced Efren Vazquez didn't improve on his eighth place position after running off at the chicane with just over a minute of the session remaining. Hector Faubel kept the improvement coming for the Bankia Aspar team in ninth with Frenchman Alexis Masbou rounding out the top ten for Caretta Technology on his Honda.

Jerez pole sitter Alex Rins was way down the order in 22nd while Britain's Danny Webb managed to manoeuvre the Mahindra into a seasons best qualifying of 18th.

Current KTM test rider Joan Olive finished 24th on his return to the GP paddock to replace Niklas Ajo on the TT Motion Events KTM, who was banned for one race after his altercation with the marshals in Jerez.

Other replacement riders in Estoril are Manuel Tatasciore of Italy riding the Caretta Technology Honda in place of Jack Miller, who suffered a collarbone fracture in Jerez. Armando Pontone replacing Jonas Folger who is still suffering from glandular fever.

Simone Grotzkyj will not race this weekend as he appears to have food poisoning.

Wildcard riders are once again Alex Marquez, younger brother of Moto2's Marc Marquez on the Repsol sponsored Suter Honda who is joined by Kevin Hanus of Germany riding for the Thomas Sabo GP Team on a Honda.

The Moto3 race on Sunday will be last in the programme instead of the first of the day, with coverage from 14:30.


1. Sandro Cortese GER (KTM) 1m 47.145s
2. Maverick Vi?ales SPA (FTR Honda) 1m 47.460s
3. Miguel Oliveira POR (Suter Honda) 1m 47.916s
4. Danny Kent GBR (KTM) 1m 47.950s
5. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL (KTM) 1m 48.083s
6. Romano Fenati ITA (FTR Honda) 1m 48.191s
7. Luis Salom SPA (Kalex KTM) 1m 48.238s
8. Efren Vazquez SPA (FTR Honda) 1m 48.299s
9. Hector Faubel SPA (Kalex KTM) 1m 48.349s
10. Alexis Masbou FRA (Honda) 1m 48.476s
11. Jakub Kornfeil CZE (FTR Honda) 1m 48.478s
12. Niccol? Antonelli ITA (FTR Honda) 1m 48.696s
13. Adrian Martin SPA (FTR Honda) 1m 48.871s
14. Brad Binder RSA (Kalex KTM) 1m 48.900s
15. Louis Rossi FRA (FTR Honda) 1m 48.927s


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