Toni Elias took a relatively easy provisional pole position for Sunday's 250cc Portuguese Grand Prix today at Estoril, leading most of the session comfortably to command a 0.48secs advantage at the end of the 45 minutes.

The hard riding Spaniard had set the pace in morning practice - and soon picked up where he'd left off this afternoon - holding a sizable 0.6secs over Manuel Poggiali as the vital final ten minutes approached. Only Roberto Rolfo and Randy de Puniet were within 1sec of the Telefonica Repsol Aprilia rider.

Elias, currently fifth in the title chase (19 points behind Poggiali), was never really threatened during the final runs - although Frenchman de Puniet was able to leapfrog Poggiali for a provisional second.

Meanwhile Elias' team-mate Nieto (second in championship) will hope he can improve on his overnight fifth tomorrow, to help close the nine point gap to Poggiali.

Full results to follow...

1. Elias
2. de Puniet
3. Poggiali
4. Rolfo
5. Nieto
6. Porto
7. Battaini
8. Guintoli



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