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Kallio bags his first ever pole position

Kallio bags his first ever pole position

Kallio bags his first ever pole position

Red Bull KTM rider Mika Kallio managed to remain the fastest man in the final qualifying practice this afternoon to secure pole position in tomorrow's Grande Premio de Portugal, representing his first ever pole position.

Kallio remained at the top of the timesheets during all the session and blazed home with five minutes to go, improving by 0.678s on his provisional pole time to clock a fastest lap of 1'45.279.

The Estoril circuit seems to suit the Finn and was the venue of his only podium finish in 2004, when he took second place. It's only the second time a KTM rider will start from the first spot of the grid – the only other being Casey Stoner in Assen, Netherlands, last year.

Thomas Lüthi from Switzerland was his closest rival. The Honda rider finished the session just 0.114s adrift, demoting Marco Simoncelli from second to third place in the last minutes of the session.

Marco Simoncelli, winner of last week's season opener in Jerez, was the fastest Aprilia rider, clocking the third fastest time; while factory colleague Hector Faubel took fourth.

Lukas Pesek will head the second row of tomorrow's grid, having equalled his best ever qualifying result with fifth fastest – a position he achieved last year at Catalunya – to become the best Derbi rider of the session so far.

Gabor Talamcsi will start from sixth, ahead of Mattia Pasini, who hasn't been able to improve on the time he set yesterday. Fabrizio Lai, who took third in last weekend's race, completes the second row with the eighth fastest time.


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