Sam Lowes continued to push to improve his top time, resulting in a late spill as he found his limit, but his pole position time remained untouched for his third consecutive pole ahead of the Moto2 Portimao Grand Prix.

The Elf Marc VDS rider constantly pushed to hold the top time, with the timesheet topping 1m 42.901s coming as a surprise with the first three sections of the lap off the pace before making all the time up in the final sector to beat his own previous best.

Although out of the running after coming off his Kalex over the hill at turn eleven his time held firm, Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who converted his 2020 pole to a win at the track in the final round last season, came close to matching his pace - falling just 0.023s short late in the session.

Xavi Vierge came through Q1 to claim the final front row spot with a determined run for Petronas Sprinta Racing.

Ai Ogura continues to look comfortable and instantly settled in the intermediate class. The Idemitsu Honda rider was the highest qualifying rookie in fourth - a new best for him in the class.

Marco Bezzecchi moved up to fifth for Sky Racing Team VR46 after Raul Fernandez had his best lap cancelled.

Lowes’ team-mate Augusto Fernandez looked back to his best in sixth, his time was just ahead of reigning Moto3 champion Albert Arenas. The rookie broke the Kalex domination at the front for Speed Up Boscoscuro with his best qualifying result since moving up to Moto2.

Joe Roberts tried a tyre change to help him up the standings but to little effect. He starts a solid eighth for Italtrans.

Aron Canet saw his new lap record set in FP3 reinstated after the session to head into qualifying fastest. When he needed a quick lap he couldn’t match his own best - the Aspar man could only manage ninth in Q2.

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez may have had his best lap cancelled for exceeding track limits but his next best was good enough to secure him a top ten start at a track where he saw success in Moto3 last year when he won after starting on pole.

Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team) came through Q1 with the top time next to his name. He starts eleventh.

Jake Dixon has no previous Portimao experience after missing the round held at the circuit at the end of last year. He pushed hard as he continues his recovery to automatically move into Q2 but ran out of steam. He starts 14th for Petronas.

Fabio Di Giannantonio spent much of the second qualifying session in the pit. When he finally made it to track he put out a lap good enough for 16th for Gresini.

Marcos Ramirez returned from injury for 17th for American Racing. Though down the grid he was within a second of the pole time in a competitive session.

Yari Montella (Lightech Speed Up) showed a spark of possibility on more familiar turf but a crash put an end to his progress, leaving him last in Q2 and 18th on the grid.

Miquel Pons, replaces Tommaso Marcon, who was in for the injured Simone Corsi at MV Agusta until he returned a positive Covid test. Pons will start his first world championship appearance from 28th.

An extra British representative hits the grid this weekend as Fraser Rogers fills in for Barry Baltus at NTS as he continues his recovery.

His first time around Portimao on a new bike saw him make progress, cutting his lap by seconds in all sessions leading up to qualifying for 29th with Jorge Navarro who fell after coming flying over the crest at turn eleven, lining up last.